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U.S. court jails drug smugglers with ties to Angels

Monday, 26 March 2012

 

Three key players in a multinational drug-smuggling operation with ties to B.C.'s Hells Angels were sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Seattle. Jacob Burdick, 34, of Marysville, Wash., was sentenced to 12 years for directing the distribution of drugs and money from a warehouse in Kent, Wash. A California couple, Michael Murphy, 62, and Pamela Marie Murphy, 58, of Penn Valley were sentenced to prison terms of 12 years and 18 months, respectively. Michael Murphy served as chief pilot in distributing B.C.-grown marijuana and cash across the U.S. to cities such as Chicago, St. Louis and Atlanta. He would collect money made from pot sales and return it to California to buy cocaine bound for B.C. Pamela Murphy assisted her husband in counting the cash and laundering it through an antiques business. The couple's California home was searched in April 2011 by agents who found $315,000 in cash - some of it bundled on their kitchen counter. "The smuggling organization had ties to members of the Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle gang in British Columbia," the U.S. Department of Justice said. Judge John Coughenor highlighted the connection between the marijuana going south and the cocaine going north. "This [marijuana] is the commodity that is sold to generate cash to buy cocaine, which has done significant damage in Canada," the judge said. According to U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan, the defendants "literally moved tons of illegal drugs for a violent criminal gang." "They sought to enrich themselves by spreading addiction through communities here and across the border," Durkan said. A Canadian man, Trevor Alan Jones, has been indicted on several counts in the drug bust, along with several others. Jones, born in 1970 and now a fugitive in the U.S., is wanted by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency for conspiracy to distribute marijuana and cocaine in the western district of Washington state. Jones, who goes by the alias "Red," is six-foot-one, weighs 220 pounds, has red hair and brown eyes. Rewards for his capture are available at the discretion of the U.S. Marshals Service. Through wiretaps, U.S. investigators determined the drug ring was transporting and distributing 450 to 1,000 kg of marijuana and 100 to 200 kg of cocaine every month for at least five years. Investigators seized more than $2 million and 136 kg of cocaine over the course of the investigation. On April 28, 2011 - the day search warrants were executed - investigators seized more than 1,000 kg of marijuana from several location across the U.S.

Hells Angels attack pizza man after car chase

Sunday, 25 March 2012

 

The Berliner Morgenpost newspaper said members of the gang were sitting outside their club house in Berlin's Wedding district at 3 a.m. when the man and his 17-year-old son drove by in a white Audi. What followed was a high-speed chase involving three Hells Angels cars. "When the Italians' Audi stopped, the Hells Angels jumped out of their a cars and started hitting the victims' car with baseball bats, axe handles and telescopic batons," a police officer told the paper. Two gang members repeatedly tried to stab the driver's son through the passenger window, which had been damaged. The 17-year-old was not injured in the attack. His father rammed into one of the Hells Angels' trying to escape, but the attackers did not follow him. A short time later, the two victims arrived at a police station to report the incident. Berliner Morgenpost said the investigation showed that neither of the two victims had any contact with the Hells Angels in the past. An officer said the fact that the attack seemed to have been motivated purely by a lust for violence underscored how dangerous the group is. The incident followed a series of fights between rival motorcycle gangs, and multiple arrests on charges of drug dealing and violent crime.

Hells Angels refused permit for gang raffle

 

A list of pending charges including possession, supply and conspiracy to deal class A drugs, robbery, burglary, and past convictions for drug offences, money laundering, theft, manslaughter and wounding with intent have persuaded the Gambling Commission that the Hells Angels Nomads can't be trusted to run a raffle. Despite a sworn affadavit from University of Canterbury academic Jarrod Gilbert that the Angels could be relied upon to "play a clean game", the commission has denied an appeal from the motorbike gang against a Department of Internal Affairs' decision to refuse them a Class 4 Gaming Licence. The gang had planned to run a fundraising raffle among friends and associates. Among the arguments tabled by the gang at a hearing last month – but only released last week – was that their parent club, Hells Angels, had been permitted to run raffles in the past, and that the commission should find them unsuitable to run a raffle only if they had dishonesty offences against their names. But the department tabled extensive evidence mustered from Organised and Financial Crime New Zealand. That intelligence noted the Angels vice-president and treasurer, not named in the decision ruling, was facing charges of possession, supply and conspiracy to deal methamphetamine, and had convictions relating to cannabis cultivation, assault and wilful damage. Since the original decision, the man was now facing further charges of aggravated robbery, burglary and participating in an organised criminal group. OFCNZ also reported the raffle's supposed organiser had a manslaughter conviction, and that they suspected he was merely a front, and the man they believed would be in charge was a bankrupt with convictions for drug offences, money laundering, theft and receiving who also faced fresh charges. The Angels' submission said "unsuitability couldn't be presumed from those convictions alone ... it was not a proper inference to say that a person with a conviction for violent offending was more likely than another randomly selected person to cause harm through gambling activities". Gilbert, who wrote his PhD on motorbike gangs, told the Star-Times he believed the Angels would run a fair raffle as they were known, in the gang world, as relatively honest and up front. "It will sound ironic to many, but within their sphere, the Hells Angels are a highly principled group," he claimed. "It will sound odd, but in the dealings their members do, whether legal or illegal, they pride themselves on honesty. Ad Feedback "What's more, running a raffle is a legal means to fundraise, and they are selling tickets to friends and associates. "You wouldn't run too many raffles if you were ripping them off."

cop charged in Hells Angels brawl


Fairfield police officer was charged by the Sussex County Prosecutor's Office on Friday for his part in a January assault that involved alleged members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. According to Sussex County Prosecutor David Weaver, the police officer was off duty at the time and tried to influence investigators to protect the members of the Hells Angels he was with during the Jan. 12 assault. Anthony Girardi Jr., 48, of Fairfield, was processed Friday at the Sussex County Sheriff's Office in Newton and charged with official misconduct and third-degree hindering apprehension and prosecution. According to the Prosecutor's Office, Girardi was at Tony's Bar in Hardyston with alleged Hells Angels members Sean Sweeney and Bernard Krynicki. While at the bar, Krynicki and Sweeney allegedly began an altercation with a man and woman who were also at the bar. During the fight, Krynicki hit the man over the head with a beer mug while Sweeney grabbed the woman and attempted to punch her, according to the report. The Prosecutor's Office said the assaults occurred in front of Girardi and that he failed to perform his duty as a police officer to stop the attack. When police officers from the Hardyston Police Department arrived to investigate the incident, Girardi allegedly tried to prevent Krynicki and Sweeney from getting arrested. According to prosecutors, Girardi identified himself as a police officer and provided false information regarding the assault to responding officers. A request for comment from the Fairfield Police Department was not returned. It is unclear if Girardi is still on active duty as a police officer in that municipality. He was released Friday on his own recognizance with a summons for a pending court date. Krynicki and Sweeney were arrested and charged by Hardyston police on Jan. 26 on aggravated assault and weapons charges. Krynicki, 45, a North Arlington resident, is being held at the Sussex County Jail in Newton on $57,500 bail; Sweeney, 42, a Hamburg resident, was released on a summons.

THE sergeant-at-arms for the Finks motorcycle gang, Richard Michail, and his accomplice Matthew Ward are unlikely to qualify as criminal masterminds after they were recently found guilty of stealing a $400,000 Lamborghini from a Port Melbourne dealership.

The Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera was always going to attract attention, but police discovered the canary-yellow car less than two kilometres from where it was pinched - directly in front of the Finks' Port Melbourne clubhouse. The County Court was told Michail entered Lorbek Prestige Cars on May 25, 2010, as Ward waited outside the dealership. Advertisement: Story continues below Both men were wearing black T-shirts emblazoned with the gang's name, while Michail made no attempt to conceal prominent tattoos on his throat, neck and hands. Michail demanded $50,000 before fleeing the Plummer Street car yard in the stolen vehicle. Police did not have to travel far to find the car or the culprits. The Lamborghini - with plates 690 069 - was parked in front of the Finks' clubhouse in nearby Bertie Street, along with a black Monaro that was also used in the robbery. Police swooped on the clubhouse and uncovered a bag used in the armed robbery, although no gun was found. Michail's defence team had unsuccessfully argued that Michail and his accomplice were collecting a debt on behalf of another car dealer, who was owed about $500,000 by Mr Lorbek. A jury found Michail, of Port Melbourne, guilty of robbery, while Ward, of Happy Valley in South Australia, was found guilty of robbery. Both men will be sentenced by Justice Mark Dean on April 11. According to police sources, Michail also has close links with the Comanchero motorcycle gang. He is believed to have negotiated a lease for the gang's clubhouse, which is also located in Port Melbourne. Mr Lorbek made headlines this month when his former wife, Judy Lorbek, was charged by the Australian Federal Police with dishonestly appropriating Commonwealth property. Judy Lorbek accidentally received $2 million in her bank account in erroneous child support payments, which she used for shopping sprees and mortgage repayments.

Two Former Pagans Motorcycle Club Members Enter Guilty Pleas

 

After three days of trial, the final two members charged in a federal investigation of the Pagans Motorcycle Club entered guilty pleas. A jury trial started March 19 for Richard Weaver and Elmer Luke Moore. Yet, in a March 22 hearing, Weaver entered a guilty plea to being a bodyguard of a convicted felon and Moore pleaded guilty to being an unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm. According to the stipulation of facts, Elmer Moore's father, Floyd Moore, was the national vice president of the Pagans Motorcycle Club and needed protection because of his dangerous position. The stipulation said Floyd Moore was a convicted felon and directed members to possess firearms for protection, since he could not carry one himself. Elmer Moore and Weaver acted as bodyguards for Floyd Moore. The original indictment charged 55 PMC members with everything from kidnapping, robbery, conspiracy to commit murder, racketeering and extortion, according to a past WOWK report. "I'm pleased that this wraps up a long and successful investigation and prosecution, where we prosecuted the president and vice president of this significant motorcycle gang," U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said in March 23 interview. "Initially, 55 defendants were charged and 16 have gone to jail out of that mix including the president and the vice president." Weaver initially faced charges of racketeering, conspiracy, conspiracy to assault with a dangerous weapon, conspiracy to kidnap in aid of racketeering, obstruction of justice, use of a firearm to commit a felony and conspiracy to violate U.S. Code. Moore initially was charged with bodyguarding, aiding and abetting, obstruction of justice, aiding and abetting, assault with a dangerous weapon in aid of racketeering activity, carrying a firearm during a crime of violence and unlawful drug user in possession of a firearm. Weaver could face a maximum potential penalty of a five year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine. Elmer Moore meanwhile faces a maximum penalty of a 10 year prison sentence and a $250,000 fine.

Gangs Squad detectives have arrested four men following investigations into drug manufacture and an altercation involving alleged associates of the Hells Angels and Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gangs

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


Gangs Squad detectives have arrested four men following investigations into drug manufacture and an altercation involving alleged associates of the Hells Angels and Comanchero outlaw motorcycle gangs (OMCG). Cash, drugs, firearms and an inactive clandestine drug laboratory have also been uncovered during the series of raids in Sydney’s south-west earlier today. Strike Force Reference was established by the Gangs Squad to investigate the suspected manufacture of prohibited drugs. During that investigation, police became aware of an altercation at Bringelly on Thursday 15 December 2011, where a man was allegedly assaulted by three men. A firearm was discharged during the incident, but it is not believed anyone was shot. Following extensive inquiries, detectives executed six simultaneous search and crime scene warrants at addresses at Bringelly, West Hoxton, Austral and Moorebank just after 9am today (Wednesday 21 March 2012). Two men, aged 33 and 38, were arrested at the warrants at Bringelly and West Hoxton, while a 27-year-old man was arrested at Parramatta. The first two men were taken to Green Valley Police Station, while the third man was taken to Parramatta Police Station. A fourth man was arrested this afternoon after attending the Moorebank address. He has been taken to Liverpool Police Station. During the search warrants, police seized two firearms, ammunition, amounts of substances believed to be methylamphetamine or ‘ice’ and a large sum of cash. An inactive clandestine laboratory, used to manufacture prohibited drugs, was located at Austral, with further chemicals and equipment located at Moorebank. The Drug Squad’s Chemical Operations Team is providing assistance. The arrested men remain in custody and detectives anticipate laying a number of charges.

Hells Angel and rival tussle at Belmont coffee shop


A dispute that started when two rival bike gang members -- one a Hells Angel -- faced off in San Mateo County jail, turned violent when the men ran into each other in front of a Belmont coffee shop, prosecutors said Monday. Now 40-year-old Orlando Jesus Rodriguez, a member of the Wanted motorcycle gang, faces two felony charges for reportedly clubbing a Hells Angel with a crowbar. He pleaded not guilty Monday in San Mateo County Superior Court to assault with a deadly weapon and committing a felony for gang purposes, said District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe. The unidentified Hells Angel got into an argument with Rodriguez, who was being held on suspicion of domestic violence, while both men were locked up in early March. Prosecutors said the Hells Angels and Wanted bikers are locked in a violent rivalry. Rodriguez next came across the Hells Angel as he was having a cup of coffee in front of a Peet's Coffee & Tea on El Camino Real on March 6. Prosecutors say he then swung a crowbar at the Hells Angels' head, which the victim blocked. The blow left the Hells Angels member with a broken arm, prosecutors said. As Rodriguez was walking back to his car he purportedly said, "Are you still claiming Hells Angels?" Rodriguez is due back in court April 2 and is being held in lieu of $250,000.

Winnipeg police continued their assault on the Hells Angels by stripping another member of his gang status

 

 Winnipeg police continued their assault on the Hells Angels by stripping another member of his gang status and seizing the jailed president's Harley-Davidson motorcycle from the World of Wheels trade show. The Free Press has uncovered details on both events, the fallout from last week's Project Flatlined, which resulted in the arrests of 11 prominent Hells Angels members and associates. Sources say members of the organized crime unit went to the Winnipeg Convention Centre Friday night and seized a souped-up motorcycle that was on display. The bike belongs to Dale Sweeney, the current head of the Manitoba Hells chapter who was arrested earlier in the day at his lavish home in the Waverley West development. "Apparently there was quite a commotion there when they seized it from World of Wheels," a source said. Friends of Sweeney were with the Harley, which had the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club logo on the side of it, when it was seized. Police had seized two vehicles belonging to Sweeney during his arrest, and sources say they will now focus on his upscale home under the Criminal Property Forfeiture Act, which allows authorities to take possession of the proceeds of crime. "We'll take that (house) if and when he's convicted," said a justice source. The next phase of the police blitz occurred in a Winnipeg courtroom on Monday afternoon. Carmine Puteri, 39, a member of the Hells Angels, agreed to step away from the gang in order to gain his release from custody. Puteri was among those arrested last Friday but was not actually facing criminal charges. Instead, police and justice officials obtained a rarely used peace bond against him under Section 810 of the Criminal Code. In court documents, police state Puteri was likely to "commit a criminal offence for the benefit of a criminal organization." Puteri agreed this was the case and chose not to contest the court order, which is traditionally used by officials against high-risk sex offenders or convicted killers who have served every day of an existing sentence and are about to re-enter the community. A peace bond was used against notorious killer Karla Homolka. Sources say this is one of the first times Manitoba justice officials have used the tool to fight organized crime. Police will monitor Puteri and he has agreed to 14 separate conditions, including a midnight curfew and an order to not possess any gang clothing or paraphernalia. Puteri has also agreed to have no contact with any Hells Angels member or associate in the province -- a list of people that ran three typed pages in court and includes more than 50 names. Any breaches of the conditions would result in a stand-alone criminal offence and would be grounds for immediate arrest. Police have also obtained the same peace bond against Sweeney's brother, Rod. He has not decided yet whether to fight the application or consent to it, and remains in custody. Sweeney and the other eight accused who were arrested last week are facing a litany of charges, including trafficking, proceeds of crime, money laundering and participating in a criminal organization. All remain behind bars and further arrests are expected. More than 150 Winnipeg police officers were involved in last week's raids, which puts the immediate status of the Hells Angels in Manitoba in jeopardy. Organized crime Insp. Rick Guyader said there are only four local members of the Hells Angels who were not arrested -- putting them in violation of the biker gang's charter, which requires at least seven active members. Operation Flatlined is the fourth major bust of the Manitoba Hells Angels since 2006. Unlike those previous projects, police did not use a paid informant in Flatlined. Sources told the Free Press the undercover probe relied on court-ordered wiretaps that allowed police to gain insight and evidence. The Flatlined code name is a reference to the Redlined Support Crew, a puppet club of the Hells Angels. The Hells Angels created the Redlined gang in 2010 to stand up to other criminal networks that might muscle in on their former drug turf after many of their members were arrested and jailed following the other police stings. At the top of the list of rival gangs was the Rock Machine, which waged war with the Hells Angels in Quebec during the 1990s but hasn't had much of a presence in Manitoba until recently. Tensions escalated last summer, with more than a dozen reported incidents, including drive-by shootings and firebombings between Redlined and Rock Machine members, which prompted police to canvass neighbourhoods where well-known bike gang members lived, to warn residents an active gang war was underway.

Biker Gang Member Accused of Beating Rival


A suspected motorcycle gang member has been accused of beating a  rival gang member with a crowbar outside a Belmont coffee shop earlier this  month.     Orlando Jesus Rodriguez, 40, of San Mateo, pleaded not guilty on  Monday to assault with a deadly weapon in connection with the March 6 attack,  which occurred outside a Peets Coffee shop at 1200 El Camino Real, San Mateo  County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said.     While he was in custody in county jail on unrelated charges,  Rodriguez -- who prosecutors say is a known member of the "Wanted" motorcycle  gang -- got into an argument with another inmate who is believed to have ties  to the Hells Angels, Wagstaffe said.     The two men were released from jail in early March, and Rodriguez  apparently spotted the other man having coffee on the day of the attack,  prosecutors said.     Wagstaffe said Rodriguez got a crowbar and swung it at the victim  in an attempt to hit him in the head.     The victim blocked the blow by holding up his left arm, but the  crowbar hit his arm and caused a severe break.     Prosecutors allege that Rodriguez yelled, "Are you still claiming  Hells Angels?" before walking to his car and driving away.     He was arrested by Daly City police on March 15 and booked into  county jail, where he is being held on $250,000 bail.     In addition to the assault charge, Rodriguez has been charged with  committing a felony while being a member of a gang.     He is scheduled to be back in court for a preliminary hearing on  April 2.

Mad Child, who formed Swollen Members with Prevail in Vancouver in 1996

Saturday, 17 March 2012

 

Mad Child, who formed Swollen Members with Prevail in Vancouver in 1996, was in the throes of addiction to painkillers and also was prevented from touring the States; the duo's self-run label, Battle Axe Records, was sputtering. They had been smeared by an association with the Hells Angels that subsequently got them dropped from the Nettwerk management roster. They generally seemed to be in disarray. Then, Mad Child got clean. The group - now a trio, with the addition of producer Rob the Viking - signed to large American hip-hop label Suburban Noize, and Swollen Members found its groove again with the album Dagger Mouth. While its current tour was a pronouncement that Swollen Members is back, validation came in the form of its fifth Juno nomination for rap recording of the year. Dagger Mouth is unlikely to win, however, as its two main rivals are recordings by Drake and Classified. But Swollen Members wasn't expected to last as long or become as successful as it has, either. So who knows? "Dagger Mouth actually did more than we had hoped," says Prevail. "We took a brush to it, erased every-thing that went before and started at ground zero. 'Let's take it back.' That's when we realized we never should have changed in the first place. "Dagger Mouth was a piece of art that came from our heart." Dagger Mouth isn't exactly a "back-to-the-roots" type of album. Too much has changed both within the group as well as in rap. But it is more basic and thus seems to be a sign that the crew shares a closeness that hasn't been apparent in the last few years. From Vancouver (Shane Bunting, a.k.a. Mad Child) and Victoria (Ki-ley Hendriks, a.k.a. Prevail), Swollen Members were the punks of Canadian rap - sporting tattoos, leather jackets and a D-I-Y ethic. Canadian rap was still finding its feet, so an upstart such as Swollen Members had room to stand on its own. "I feel like we're part of history, to be honest with you," Prevail says. "When you put out your first record," he says, "you rely on feed-back because you don't know. For an underground group at that time, feedback was hugely important. We wanted to tour and create a lineage. The sound has changed and progressed as it has matured." With change came success and with success came confusion, not the least of which was Mad Child's addiction, now in the past. "The chronology of Swollen Members has been interesting," Prevail says. "People suspected it was an unlikely pairing of Mad Child and Prevail when we started. "I'm really proud of Mad Child," he says. "That brought us to the other end. I don't think we could have got to that if we didn't go through what we did. Through that journey we found so much enthusiasm. "Dagger Mouth allowed us to be ourselves again. I feel that nothing can stop us now."

Police arrested the current president of the Manitoba Hells Angels and eight others Friday

Police arrested the current president of the Manitoba Hells Angels and eight others Friday in a series of busts that police believe will cripple the outlaw biker gang. An operation police dubbed Project Flatlined -- an obvious shot at Redlined, which is the Hells Angels puppet club -- rolled out across Winnipeg Friday, with more than 150 officers taking part in raids at an auto parts business and five homes, including a Winnipeg house sources say belongs to current Hells Angels president Dale Sweeney. Sweeney, one of the province's original Hells Angels, was among those arrested, as was his brother Rod, who is also a full-patch HA member. Seven others, including members and associates of the HA and Redlined, were also arrested, while more arrests are expected. All those arrested, except for Rod Sweeney and HA member Carmine Puteri, will be facing a variety of charges including drug trafficking, laundering money and participating in a criminal organization. Police allege the biker gang and its support crew control a good portion of the drug trade in Manitoba, but expect these busts to have a significant impact on their ability to operate. "It should hinder the organization," said Insp. Rick Guyader. "They'll have to shut down until they can recruit some other people into their line of business." Guyader said it would be "naive" not to expect other gangs to attempt to fill the void, but had a message for at least one potential competitor. "The Rock Machine is in our sights," he said. The raid at Sweeney's home Friday raised eyebrows in the posh Waverley West neighbourhood. When Wes Bergen arrived at the new subdivision to work installing insulation, he noticed two police cruiser cars. "I figured that's a bit much for a parking ticket," he said. Sweeney was sentenced to six years in prison in 2002 for his role in a biker feud that occurred the previous summer. It started when former Spartan Kevin Sylvester shot Rod Sweeney while he sat in a tow truck with his young son. One month and three-related shootings later, Sylvester was shot behind the wheel. Sylvester pleaded guilty in April 2002 to discharging a firearm with intent in connection with Sweeney's shooting. Later that year, Dale Sweeney was sentenced for his role in shooting back at Sylvester.

Hells Angel 'L'animal' still in police custody in Panama

Thursday, 15 March 2012

 

Michel Smith, the fugitive Hells Angels biker known as "L'animal," who is wanted on 22 murder charges, will remain in police custody in Panama at least until after a court arraignment. "We don't yet know precisely when that will be," Sûreté du Québec Sgt. Claude Denis said Monday. After that, proceedings will be started to ship Smith - who had been on the run since 2009 - back to Quebec to face 29 criminal charges, including 22 for murder, Denis said. Smith had long been sought in connection with the SharQc Quebec police crackdown on the Hells Angels. He was nabbed Friday night in the Playa Coronado region, on the Pacific Ocean coast of the Central American country, Denis said. According to a report from Panama's TVN, Smith was found in an apartment 50 metres from a police station. The report says several cases of beer and a large quantity of beef were found in Smith's apparent hideout. Sgt. Julie Gagnon of the RCMP had earlier Monday referred all media inquiries on the fate of the fugitive biker to the SQ. SharQc netted a total of 155 alleged criminal bikers accused of everything from drug trafficking to first-degree murder. In a statement, a spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs said the government is aware of the arrest of a "Canadian citizen" and that consular officials are in contact with Panamanian authorities and are providing assistance as required.

SQ, Laval Police lead drug raid

 

175 officers from five police forces raided a dozen homes Wednesday morning in an attempt to break a drug ring. Surete du Quebec Sgt. Benoit Richard said police targeted eight locations in Laval, with more homes being raided in Terrebonne, Rosemere and Montreal. Richard said they have arrested 11 people who will be charged with drug trafficking and conspiracy to traffic drugs. The investigation began in July 2009 when Laval Police learned a drug ring was distributing several kilograms of cocaine each month. Two years later the SQ joined the investigation, which culminated in this week's raids of 12 homes and the seizure of nine cars.

Renewed hunt for Canadian fugitive

Police have intensified a search for one of Canada’s most sought-after fugitives following last week’s arrest of his Hells Angels colleague in Panama. David MacDonald Carroll, 60, aka David Carol and Wolf, is sought for 13 murders. He’s the only fugitive from Canada listed by Interpol on its most wanted website, which covers 188 countries. Carroll, a member of the Quebec Nomads Chapter of the Hells Angels, has been convicted of assault, drug trafficking and firearms offences in Canada. Police are hoping to obtain information on his whereabouts from Michel Smith, 49, of Quebec, an alleged member of the Hells Angels who was arrested in Panama last Friday after three years on the run. Smith, who was linked to Quebec’s deadly biker war in the 1990s, faces 29 charges, including 22 counts of murder in Canada. The RCMP alleged Carroll, and two others, conspired from 1995 to 2001, to murder members of rival motorcycle gangs who had allegedly refused to obtain drugs from the Nomads. Police alleged Carroll was involved in the murder of 13 people and the attempted murder of two others. Carroll has been on the lam since 2001 when he managed to escape a police sweep that led to the arrests of several members of the Hells Angels and its affiliate, the Rockers. “David Carroll is a member in good standing of the Hells Angels criminal organization,” a police poster said. He speaks English and French and can be hiding in any of the 20 countries where the bike gang has chapters. Police said he’s travelled to Brazil, Mexico, Australia, Europe, New Zealand, South Africa, the U.S. and SouthAmerica. Some reports claim that Carroll was last spotted in Australia. Carroll has Hells Angels tattoos on his right arm and back and scars on both arms.

Sheriff under investigation for allegedly lying about 2008 shooting incident

 

A Lake County News investigation has revealed that the issue at the heart of a dispute between the sheriff and district attorney, resulting in the sheriff’s request for outside legal counsel, is based on allegations that the sheriff lied during a 2008 investigation into a shooting in which he was involved while a deputy. Sheriff Frank Rivero is the subject of a District Attorney’s Office inquiry into the incident, in which he is alleged to have shot at a man holding a can of pepper spray during his time as a deputy sheriff. The man was not injured. Documents Lake County News received Wednesday as the result of a California Public Records Act for emails between Rivero and members of the Board of Supervisors indicate District Attorney Don Anderson is conducting an evaluation of the shooting based on Brady v. Maryland. That 1963 U.S. Supreme Court decision requires prosecutors to disclose to defendants exculpatory evidence, including issues about an officer’s truthfulness and credibility. The impetus for the inquiry appears not to be the shooting itself but the conflicting stories Rivero allegedly gave investigating officers following the incident at a Cobb home on Feb. 19, 2008. Asked for a response in regard to the release of his emails, Rivero told Lake County News in an email message on Wednesday, "I categorically deny any allegation or inference of being untruthful during the investigation of my officer involved shooting of February 19, 2008. The Sheriff and the DA in office at the time thoroughly investigated the shooting and found no impropriety and concluded that I acted properly." Rivero in February requested the Board of Supervisors hire him outside legal counsel to respond to the inquiry, adding that he wanted to ensure Anderson didn’t overstep his legal bounds. The board denied that request March 6, after discussing it in three separate meetings. If Rivero is found to have lied to investigators in the 2008 shooting investigation, he could receive a “Brady letter,” which would identify him as an officer whose reliability as a witness in court cases has been compromised. Rivero and attorney Matthew Pavone – who the Peace Officers Research Association of California, or PORAC, retained to represent the sheriff – both have raised the concern that Rivero’s ability to perform his duties would be affected if the District Attorney’s Office took action to place him on a “Brady list” of officers with compromised credibility. For many officers, being placed on a Brady list can spell the end of their careers. That’s because Brady v. Maryland requires that prosecutors divulge to defendants in criminal cases all evidence that could aid them in defending themselves, including information about the reliability of officers who are witnesses in their cases. Anderson told Lake County News in a Wednesday interview that any time a peace officer’s credibility comes into play because of past testimony or material representations in any investigation, his office is required by law to disclose it to defendants. Otherwise, he and his staff could face sanctions from the state bar association. “I believe in full disclosure to defendants,” he said. He said the decision on whether to give officers Brady letters is up to him or his designee. The documents released to Lake County News indicated Anderson had set up a panel of three representatives from the district attorneys’ offices of neighboring counties to hear the matter. He said it’s not a made up process, as Rivero has alleged, but is done around the state all the time. During discussions by the Board of Supervisors regarding Rivero’s request for outside legal counsel, some board members indicated they understood the panel had been dropped, but Anderson said the panel was merely changed from one composed of out-of-county representatives to one formed with members of Anderson’s own staff. The panel doesn’t interview the officer, only reviews documents from the investigation, said Anderson. However, the officer in question can make an argument to the panel against the action before a final determination is made. In the issue with Rivero, Anderson – who could say little directly about the case due to confidentiality – said, “The investigation is resolved,” and a decision is pending a response from Rivero. Anderson said he had agreed to hold off on taking any action until the matter with Rivero’s request to the board for legal counsel was resolved. Rivero’s Brady inquiry is anticipated to have a direct impact on a pending case, People v. Carrillo, according to a Dec. 13 letter Anderson sent to Pavone. In that case, Nicolas Carrillo of Santa Rosa is accused of being a member of the Hells Angels and is alleged to have taken part, along with three other alleged Hells Angels, in a June 2011 fight with rival Vagos motorcycle gang members at Konocti Vista Casino in Lakeport. Carrillo’s attorney, Michael Clough, succeeded in having Judge Andrew Blum open Rivero’s personnel records in October to see if there were any potential bias issues against the Hells Angels. Blum reviewed Rivero’s records and those of Sgt. John Gregore and found no issues, as Lake County News has reported. Clough had argued there were unusual circumstances in the case, namely, that a deputy had investigated and closed the matter before Rivero had it reopened, going to the casino personally to collect the surveillance tapes. Because of Rivero’s involvement in that case, it is likely any Brady issue would need to be disclosed to Carrillo’s attorney. But Anderson said disclosure is not necessary until a matter is set for trial. Carrillo’s case was only recently set for preliminary hearing.

Two men charged after search of Oakdale residence

 

REVOLVER, semi-automatic pistol, two rifles and other items were allegedly found at an Oakdale residence by Sydney police shortly before 7am yesterday. The officers were investigating a fight in a fast food car park at Woodbine last September allegedly involving Hells Angels bikies and searched the premises before charging two men. A 50-year-old man was charged charged with affray, assault, and firearms and drug offences. He was refused bail to appeared at Campbelltown Court on Wednesday afternoon. The second man was a 23-year-old charged with affray and armed with intent to commit indictable offence. He was granted conditional bail to face Campbelltown Court on April 11. Police also allegedly retrieved ammunition, cannabis and other items.

Hells Angels hired hash plant horticulturalists


Police raiding a Hells Angels hide-out in Düsseldorf entered a World War II bunker to find a huge cannabis plantation – complete with a round-the-clock team of professional gardeners.  Officers counted more than 4,000 cannabis plants in the bunker, the biggest plantation ever found in North Rhine-Westphalia, hidden away in the Hells Angels-linked “Clan 81” clubhouse. More than 500 police, some of them from the special armed division, raided biker clubs in Oberhausen, Solingen and Langenfeld as well as Düsseldorf, following a brutal fight between Hells Angels and rival gang Bandidos in January in Mönchengladbach. Two men were seriously hurt after being stabbed during the fight. The discovery of the cannabis plantation was an unexpected bonus for the police who also confiscated an electroshock weapon, a knife and an axe, and arrested five people.

Revenge attack may have sparked Baulkham Hills tattoo parlour shooting

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

 

A REVENGE attack by another outlawed motorcycle gang against the Hells Angels is one motive being considered for the attack on a Baulkham Hills tattoo parlour last week. Tattoo World on Seven Hills Rd was sprayed with 16 bullets at 5.20am on Wednesday. See photos here Witnesses said a man ran down Seven Hills Rd. Hills detectives are examining CCTV footage from the shop and nearby businesses. They are also waiting for the results of ballistics testing to see if the crime is linked to other recent drive-by shootings. Tattoo World, in a row of shops opposite the Bull and Bush Hotel, was shot at in March last year. Five shots were fired into the front roller door of the premises in early hours of March 25, 2011. No one has been charged. Both incidents happened when the premises were shut, and no one was hurt.

Drug trafficking brothers jailed for more than five years each

Monday, 12 March 2012

Two brothers who tried to flood the north-east of Scotland with heroin and cocaine have been jailed. Paul and Anthony Smith were jailed for more than five years each after they admitted transporting a "significant" amount of class-A drugs into Aberdeen and Shetland. The pair, originally from Liverpool, were sentenced at the High Court in Aberdeen on Monday after previously admitting being involved in the supply of heroin and cocaine between October 2010 and February last year. Detective Inspector Alex Dowall said: "These men were intent on flooding the streets of Aberdeen and Shetland with class-A drugs and were willing to take great risks in the process in order to turn a profit. "Ultimately though, as their sentences today prove, the risk is much greater than the potential reward." Anthony Smith, 30, was jailed for five years and seven months while his 27-year-old sibling received a sentence of five years and two months. Det Insp Dowall added: "This was a complex inquiry across two countries and three force areas and it should serve as a warning to others intent on bringing drugs into the north-east that it will not be tolerated. "Operation Limehouse is an example of Grampian Police working closely with other police forces across the UK in order to target those suspected of committing drugs offences. "It must also be said that the assistance provided by local communities in Aberdeen and Shetland in bring these individuals to justice was invaluable."

Michel Smith, a Quebec member of the Hells Angels wanted se 2009 in connection to 22 murder cases, has been arrested by authorities in Panama

 

Michel Smith, a Quebec member of the Hells Angels wanted se 2009 in connection to 22 murder cases, has been arrested by authorities in Panama, according to media reports. However, officials from the Surete du Quebec and RCMP were not immediately able to confirm or deny the reports. According to the RCMP, Smith is a member of the South Chapter of the Hells Angels and goes by the nickname "L'animal." He has been on the run since 2009 in connection with a police crackdown on the Hells Angels biker gang. He faces 29 criminal charges - including 22 murder charges. Citing Panamanian local media and Agence France-Presse, the QMI news agency reported that Smith, 49, had been detained by police Friday evening in the Playa Coronado region, on the Pacific Ocean coast of the Central American nation. A Canada-wide warrant issued by the RCMP said he was being sought for murder, gangsterism, drug trafficking and related conspiracy charges. His Central American connections were known to authorities. "Smith is likely to visit Panama and speaks French," the warrant stated. Const. Erique Gasse of the RCMP's C Division in Montreal said he had relayed a request for official word on Smith's status to RCMP officials in Ottawa, who did not immediately return a phone call. Asked for confirmation of the arrest report, Surete du Quebec spokesperson Sgt. Christine Coulombe said: "I have no information on this." Smith is "considered to be violent," according to the warrant. Aside from "L'animal," his aliases have included Mike Smith-Lajoie, Michel Lajoie-Smit and Michel Lajoie. The warrant describes Smith as 172 centimetres tall and weighing 95 kilograms, with brown hair and blue eyes.

Alleged Quebec Hells Angels member arrested in Panama

 

Quebec fugitive -- and alleged member of the Hells Angels -- who is wanted on murder charges has been arrested in Panama, local media reports say. Michel Smith, 49, who was linked to Quebec's deadly biker war in the 1990s, was reportedly arrested Friday. Smith -- whose nickname is "animal" -- has been on the run since 2009. He was taken into custody by local police in the tourist area of Playa Coronado on the Pacific Ocean coast, according to local reports. The reports said he had been under surveillance for about two months before his arrest. Smith faces 29 charges, including 22 counts of murder. Police in Canada had not confirmed the news as late Sunday night. Smith is to be extradited back to Canada, police officials in Panama said in a news release. Smith has long been alleged to be among the top men affiliated with the Hells Angels when it was at war with the Rock Machine biker gang in the 1990s and early 2000s. The gang war killed more than 150 people. While most of the victims were members of the rival gangs and their affiliates, two prison guards and an 11-year old boy -- a bystander -- also died. An RCMP warrant describes Smith as 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighing 210 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes.

'Speed Freak Killer' links partner to more murders, claims he trained 'apprentice'

Saturday, 10 March 2012

 

"Speed Freak Killer" Wesley Shermantine links his partner in crime Loren Herzog to more murders and says he also trained up a killing "apprentice," in a letter he sent from death row to KTXL-TV in Sacramento, Calif. Shermantine, who is believed to have killed as many as 20 people with Herzog, has been sketching maps showing the location of victims' remains and giving them to Sacramento bounty hunter Leonard Padilla in return for payment. The killer's information helped California police find the remains of Cynthia Vanderheiden, who disappeared in 1998, aged 25, and Chevelle "Chevy" Wheeler of Stockton, Calif., who went missing in 1985, aged 16. They also found more than 1,000 bones and bone fragments buried in a well. In his latest letter, Shermantine claims that DNA tests on the other remains will show they belong to JoAnn Hobson, a 16 year old who disappeared in 1985, and a pregnant black woman, who he claims Herzog dumped with help from members of the Hells Angels. Herzog, who killed himself earlier this year, also killed a hunter in Utah in 2004, according to Shermantine. Shermantine, currently on death row in San Quentin jail, describes how Herzog wanted to join the Hells Angels and needed to build up a reputation, so he began training an apprentice named "Jason Jones," who he taught to kill without being detected. He says he warned Jones to leave the country before any more burial sites were uncovered. Shermantine, who claims he is not a killer, explains how he will not reveal any more burial sites because he has not been paid by Padilla. He also criticizes the police search for bodies and the excavation of the well, claiming police "just crushed, busted the bones all to pieces." Authorities believe Shermantine and Herzog killed up to 20 people in a drug-fueled killing spree in the 80s and 90s. They were both jailed but Herzog was released in 2010 after an appeals court ruled investigators illegally coerced his confession. Herzog killed himself in January after Shermantine began revealing the burial places of victims.

A judge has ordered a member of the Hells Angels motorcycle club as well as two other men named as suspects in a triple slaying in Berkshire County to provide DNA samples


A judge has ordered a member of the Hells Angels motorcycle club as well as two other men named as suspects in a triple slaying in Berkshire County to provide DNA samples to investigators. The Superior Court judge on Wednesday ordered Adam Lee Hall, David Chalue (shuh-LOO') and Caius Veiovis (KYE'-us vee-OH'-vis), to submit to cheek swabs and hair samples. The men are accused of killing David Glasser, Edward Frampton and Robert Chadwell last August and burying the bodies in Becket. Authorities say Hall, a Hells Angel, and the others suspects killed Glasser and his friends to stop Glasser testifying against Hall in an assault case. Defense attorneys argued against the DNA collection.

Hells Angels Members Sentenced For SD Stabbing


Two Hells Angels Motorcycle Club members involved in a stabbing during the 2011 motorcycle have been sentenced in a Sturgis court. 48-year-old Mark Duclos of Fairbanks, Alaska, was sentenced to six years in the state penitentiary, with four years suspended. Duclos was charged with one count of aggravated assault. Fifty-eight-year-old George Caruso of Shirley, Mass., was charged with one count of simple assault. He was sentenced to 360 days in the Meade County Jail. He will also be required to pay more than $4,000 in fines and restitution. Police say the two were involved in a fight between members of the Hells Angels and Mongols motorcycle clubs. The fight sent two people to the hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening.

Wheels of Soul outlaw motorcycle gang member pleads guilty

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

 

Allan "Dog" Hunter, 33, of Chicago, was present during the March 6, 2011, shooting death of Javell T. Thornton, 32, also of Chicago, at 126 South Main St. according to a federal indictment. As part of his plea, Hunter, a member of the Wheels of Soul outlaw motorcycle gang, admitted Thursday in federal court that he conspired with other members of the gang to dispose of several firearms after the shooting. WOS was in Marion for a meeting at a private motorcycle club. In the early morning hours of March 6, a fight at the gang's after-hours party spilled onto the sidewalk on South Main Street. When the dust settled, three men were injured with stab and gunshot wounds, and Thornton was dead. The federal indictment states that Anthony R. Robinson shot three victims in the back as they fled the party, killing Thornton and seriously injuring another. Hunter reportedly fired a handgun indiscriminately into the crowd while wearing a bulletproof vest. Robinson has been indicted on one count of murder in aid of racketeering activity and one count of attempt to commit murder in aid of racketeering, along with other federal charges for murder and racketeering activities in other states, according to the federal indictment. Eighteen members of the WOS were indicted on federal charges June 9, 2011. One member allegedly stabbed another person in the head during a fight at a Chicago motorcycle club, then shot another in the stomach. The indictment says gang members are required to carry weapons - mostly guns, but also hammers, knives and other weapons.

Rapper Young Buck -- Shot at 11 Times in Attempted Drive-by

Monday, 5 March 2012

 

A woman riding in the passenger seat of an SUV driven by Young Buck was shot in the shoulder early this morning when another car drove alongside and opened fire, but the rapper was unharmed ... this according to a local report.  The woman was treated and released according to WSMV in Nashville, TN. There was a third passenger in the vehicle who was also not injured.  The shooting occurred at approximately 3:30 AM, police told the television station. Young Buck is from the area and was reportedly back in town for a music project.

Hells Angels bikie war will explode in Kings Cross.

Sunday, 4 March 2012

 

POLICE investigating the Hells Angels have launched a new taskforce amid fears a full-blown bikie war will explode in Kings Cross. The Sunday Telegraph can reveal the operation, code-named Strike Force Cheviot, was set up after 40 to 50 members of the Hells Angels descended on the red-light district last month. Police believe the "unprecedented" act may have been designed to send a message to rival bikie group Nomads, which have long controlled security in the area. Detective Superintendent Arthur Katsogiannis, commander of the NSW Gangs Squad, said police had been watching the situation closely since the February 5 incident. "Yes, we are aware and monitoring the situation with what happened at Kings Cross that night with the Hells Angels", Mr Katsogiannis told The Sunday Telegraph. "It was an unprecedented act from the Hells Angels and that's why it's important the Gangs Squad involved ourselves from the beginning. "Safety of the community is our top priority and we will not be allowing any OMCGs (outlaw motorcycle gangs) to carry on with that type of behaviour". Police are investigating a possible outbreak of violence between the Nomads and the Hells Angels, who have been on an expansion and recruitment drive for months around Sydney. It is one of several lines of inquiry being probed by Cheviot detectives. They are also looking at a credible allegation that Hells Angels members went to Kings Cross to confront a member of the Nomads clan who works in the area. The man, who for legal reasons cannot be named, was formerly a member of the Hells Angels but "patched over" several months ago. Since then he has been performing unofficial security tasks for nightclub premises in Kings Cross, including venues aligned with local identity John Ibrahim. Law enforcement sources said when the Hells Angels descended on the nightspot they arranged themselves across the road from a club where the man was believed to be working, and demanded he come outside. "That forms part of several lines of inquiry we are looking at," Mr Katsogiannis said, adding that officers from Strike Force Raptor were patrolling Kings Cross on the night of the incident and quelled the situation. "If they (Raptor police) didn't intervene at the time, it could have been a lot worse". Police have connected the Nomads member with some of the recent shootings across southwestern Sydney, all of which are under investigation. In November, The Sunday Telegraph revealed the individual was the target of a drive-by attack at an Oporto restaurant in Merrylands, which occurred two days after he was released from custody. Mr Katsogiannis said Strike Force Cheviot officers, would continue weekend patrols of Kings Cross to prevent any outbreaks of violence for "as long as it takes".

Ex-Hells Angels member charged with killing fellow member at funeral for a chapter president

Saturday, 3 March 2012


A former Hells Angels member has been charged in a fatal shooting during the funeral of the biker club's San Jose chapter president. Steve Ruiz didn't enter a plea during his brief arraignment Wednesday in Santa Clara County Superior Court. Ruiz is charged with murder in the death of Steve Tausan, a member of the Hells Angels' Santa Cruz chapter. The shooting happened during the Oct. 15 funeral of Jeffrey Pettigrew, the president of the San Jose chapter who was killed during a fight at a Nevada casino with a rival motorcycle gang. According to a police report, Ruiz was beaten by an unidentified man and Tausan during the funeral. Police say Ruiz then shot Tausan and fled the scene. Ruiz was arrested Saturday in Fremont after eluding arrest for four months.

2 members of violent Outlaw biker gang plead guilty

 

Two Chicago men have pleaded guilty in St. Louis to federal charges for their roles in a violent nationwide motorcycle gang. The U.S. Attorney's office in St. Louis says Carlyle "Thundercat" Fleming and Allan "Dog" Hunter were part of the Wheels of Soul Outlaw Motorcycle gang. Fleming pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy on Wednesday, and Hunter on Thursday. Both face sentencing in May. Eighteen alleged gang members from seven states were indicted by a federal grand jury in St. Louis in June. Fleming admitted trying to kill two people in separate incidents in Chicago in 2009. Both victims survived. Hunter admitted conspiring to distribute crack cocaine in the Chicago area, conspiring to kill rival gang members in East St. Louis, Ill., and intending to use pipe bombs against rival clubs.

Guns seized from Rock Machine's WA headquarters

 

Three sawn-off guns and ammunition have been uncovered during a police raid of the Rock Machine bikie gang clubhouse in O'Connor. Gang crime squad police raided the property yesterday afternoon and seized one 12-guage shotgun and two .22 repeater rifles. The guns had been sawn off and the serial numbers removed. The weapons were not loaded but ammunition was found nearby. Advertisement: Story continues below Nobody was at the premises at the time of the raids. Detective Senior Sergeant Jeff Christmass said forensic testing was being carried out on the weapons to ascertain whether they had been used in a previous crime. "The conditions these firearms were found in leaves us little doubt that these were intended to be used for some sinister means," he said. "It's a concern for us that we are finding these types of firearms in the community." It is believed the O'Connor clubhouse was only established in the past few months. For months, Rock Machine members have been involved in a feud with rival bike gang Rebels. Detective Senior Sergeant Christmass said police were working to stop the conflict. "We're confident that we are making considerable headway into stopping that conflict, and as you can see in recent months there hasn't been any major activity on that front, which is of great benefit not only to WA police but the community in general," he said. No charges have been laid over the haul.

Comanchero bikie jailed over manslaughter of rival gang member in airport brawl


A MAN who joined the Comancheros motorcycle club in search of male role models has been jailed for seven years after admitting to the manslaughter of a rival gang member. Christian Menzies, 29, was found not guilty of murder but guilty of affray last November over a bloody brawl inside Sydney Airport in March 2009. He faced a retrial after the NSW Supreme Court jury could not reach a verdict on the alternative charge of manslaughter, but he subsequently pleaded guilty to the offence. Anthony Zervas, the brother of Hells Angels member Peter Zervas, was killed during the brawl between the rival motorcycle gangs. Menzies is the twelfth man to be sentenced over the fatal airport fight which took place in broad daylight in front of scores of terrified passengers and terminal staff. On Friday, Justice Robert Allan Hulme jailed him for at least three years eight months and a maximum of seven years two months. He said Menzies was part of the group of Comancheros who initiated the melee and was a major participant in what he termed "wanton and significant violence". "The offender was a willing participant in the violence that occurred," the judge said. "He played an active role." "A clear message must be sent that it will met by punishment that will be severe." Justice Hulme said Menzies was a major player in the deadly fracas, in which Mr Zervas suffered stab wounds and massive head injuries when he was attacked with bollards and kicked, punched and stomped on as he lay on the floor of the domestic terminal. In an affidavit, Menzies said he became involved with the Comancheros, in part, because of the absence of his father. He said the gang had provided him with male role models, and made him feel important and "cared for". But he said that ultimately the gang "did not fill my void". To the family of Mr Zervas, Menzies said he was "sorry for the loss of their son, brother and loved one". The judge said even though Menzies had two previous convictions for violent offences his prospects of rehabilitation were good because he had left the Comancheros and sworn off drugs and alcohol. As he had promised not to associate with the outlaw motorcycle gang on his release, there was a chance Menzies could find work as a social worker with Aboriginal youth or as a bricklayer, he said.

Motorcycle gang member involved in Nugget shooting takes plea deal, is expected to testify against two others

 

One of the motorcycle gang members involved in the deadly shooting at a Sparks casino during Street Vibrations pleaded guilty on Friday in a plea deal, a prosecutor said. Gary Rudnick, 45, was facing first-degree murder charges for allegedly inciting a fight between the Vagos motorcycle gang and a rival Hells Angeles chapter on Sept. 23, which left 51-year-old San Jose president Jeffery Pettigrew dead. But he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit murder and will testify at the October murder trial of his fellow gang member, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Karl Hall. “I’m happy with that,” Hall said after Rudnick entered his plea before Washoe District Judge Connie Steinheimer. She also reduced his bail from $300,000 to $100,000, according to the court. “He’s expected to testify at trial,” Hall said of Rudnick. Rudnick faces a maximum of 10 years in prison when he is sentenced in December, Hall said. Fellow Vagos member Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez of San Francisco, charged with gunning down Pettigrew on a crowded dance floor at John Ascuaga’s Nugget, has pleaded not guilty to a list of charges, including murder, carrying a concealed weapon and discharging a weapon in a casino, Hall said. His trial is set for Oct. 29. His bail was set for $2 million. Hells Angel member, Cesar Villagrana of Gilroy, Calif., also has pleaded guilty charges ranging from second-degree murder to carrying a concealed weapon. He was charged for allegedly accepting a challenge to fight and firing shots when the violence started on the dance floor. The Nugget was evacuated late on Sept. 23 after shots were fired and a fight broke out on the dance floor at Trader Dick’s. Besides Pettigrew’s fatal injuries, two others were injured. Two members of the Vagos motorcycle club suffered leg and abdomen injuries. According to police reports, the battle between the Vagos and Hells Angels started in the Oyster Bar at the Nugget when Rudnick instigated a fight with Pettigrew. Pettigrew reportedly punched Rudnick in the face, and the gun battle ensued, records show. The indictment against the men says Rudnick, with the Vagos, challenged the Hells Angeles to a fight and Pettigrew and Villagrana accepted. Since all of the men conspired to fight and their argument resulted in fatal gunfire, all of the men were charged as co-defendants. Gonzalez was charged with open murder with a deadly weapon because he fired the fatal shot. Villagrana was charged with second-degree murder, two counts of felony battery with a deadly weapon for shooting two Vagos members, which left them with non-life-threatening injuries.

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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