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Tuesday, 26 July 2011

former Hell's Angel was sentenced to 2½ years in prison Friday for a 2009 fight

former Hell's Angel was sentenced to 2½ years in prison Friday for a 2009 fight Judge Steven Conn said he still has little idea as to what actually occurred.

George Walters was one of seven members of the Hell's Angels and Desert Road Riders motorcycle club arrested and charged with riot and participating in a gang for a fight with a rival motorcycle club at Lazy Harry's bar in Bullhead City June 19, 2009.

Walters is the only one to have pleaded guilty so far. The others continue to contest the charges and appear headed for trial.

"I've always wondered what this trial will actually consist of," Conn said, adding that there has never been any statements or evidence offered as to what the fight consisted of or the level of involvement by each of the men.

The seven motorcycle club members, who included Kingman residents Dale Leroy Hormuth and James Snider, were arrested five months after the reported fight. In that time, motorcycle riders complained about harassment by law enforcement and the community was embroiled over whether businesses had the right to deny entrance to those wearing "colors," referring to motorcycle club insignia.

Officials with the GIITEM task force (Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission), said after the arrests were announced that the investigation into the fight was the reason for their increased surveillance. They later added that they were trying to prevent the Hell's Angels from getting a foothold in Mohave County.

Walters' attorney, Ron Gilleo, said it appeared the County Attorney's Office was prosecuting the club members more for their reputation and for the threat of what could have happened during the fight versus what actually occurred.

Gilleo said that by the time police responded to the fight complaint at Lazy Harry's, the band had already resumed playing, people were dancing and patrons were enjoying their drinks on the patio.

Prosecutor Bob Moon conceded that the fight did not meet most people's definition of a riot but said that the men couldn't use the "no harm, no foul" defense for what occurred that night.

In handing down his sentence, which could have been as much as eight years, Conn said he was not going to use this case as a means to send a message to the Hell's Angels or any other motorcycle clubs.

He added that for a "notorious" member of the Hell's Angels, Walters had an especially brief criminal history, which only included a failure to appear felony charge out of federal court and a misdemeanor citation from the Game and Fish department. Otherwise Walters had no prior convictions involving drugs, weapons or violence.

Gilleo said Walters, a friend of Hell's Angels founder Sonny Barger, grew tired of the biker lifestyle and began distancing himself from the club in the weeks after the fight. Walters had been scouting ranch locations in Mexico to become a cowboy of sorts, Gilleo said.

Walters himself spoke only briefly at the hearing, saying that he had grown tired of the "10 years of drama."

"I'll never put anyone at risk or put them at risk to have harm done to them again," he said.

Wanted: an angel with bail for bikie

BIKIE boss Felix Lyle continues to languish in jail because he does not appear to know anyone ''acceptable'' or with a spare $100,000 in cash from legitimate sources to meet his bail requirements.

When the 54-year-old Hells Angels chieftain was charged last week over his alleged role in a massive fraud ring, police set bail at $100,000 in cash.

But the problem for Mr Lyle, also known as Big F, is the set he moves in. ''Thus far we haven't been able to find an acceptable person,'' said Mr Lyle's solicitor, Martin Ricci, yesterday. By ''acceptable person'' the police mean no one with a criminal record.

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Also not able to provide bail money is a bankrupt, which is the position Mr Lyle is in after an unfortunate hotel deal in Kings Cross. When he was bankrupted in 2009 he listed his occupation as unemployed and claimed to have only $100 to his name.

Outside Central Local Court yesterday Mr Ricci said that police had raised the bar so high, they might as well have refused his client bail. ''No one has $100,000 lying around,'' he said.

Mr Lyle's good friend the underworld boss Tony Vincent cannot put up the money himself having done a stint behind bars in recent years for drug and fraud offences.

Mr Lyle has been charged over three serious fraud offences worth $2.3 million and one count of knowingly dealing with the proceeds of crime.


Sunday, 24 July 2011

Hells Angels leader accused of traffic assault against fellow member

apparent dispute over an Evergreen man's wish to drop his affiliation with the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club came close to becoming deadly last week.

A Denver man is now facing felony menacing charges after an arrest for allegations that he tried to run down a member of his motorcycle gang with a truck for quitting the group.

Todd Allan Zahn, 37, of Denver, and the apparent president of the Nomads/Hells Angels chapter, posted a $20,000 bond to get out of jail after his July 12 arrest in which fellow club member Donald Dilling, 52, accused the man of trying to run him down.

"Dilling believes that the motivation for this action is that Zahn was going to attempt to forcibly remove a Hells Angels' tattoo on his chest and then murder him," the affidavit stated.

An Erie police officer driving on Colo. 66 near Weld County Road 17 west of Platteville said he saw a black truck blocking westbound traffic and a man on a motorcycle who appeared to be trying to get away from the truck. The officer stopped to determine the problem.

Dilling, according to a Weld Sheriff's Office affidavit, told the officer Zahn was trying to assault him with his truck, and Zahn sped off. The officer stopped him and waited for a Weld sheriff's deputy to arrive.

Dilling said he was driving his motorcycle west on Colo. 66 when Zahn pulled up alongside him and began shouting at him.

"Zahn is the president of the local Nomads/Hells Angels chapter and is upset at Dilling because he has decided to leave the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club," the affidavit states. "Dilling said Zahn attempted to 'force him off the road.' "

Dilling told the officers he avoided a collision by running into weeds on the side of the road.

Zahn has a long history of driving infractions and was convicted in 2006 for being a previous offender in possession of a weapon. He received 18 months probation and 120 hours of community service.

Zahn and Dilling both were part of a group of Hells Angels motorcycle members who in 2007 sued the Mountain View Police Department, as well as the city and county of Denver, for an unlawful traffic stop in 2005. A Mountain View officer stopped the group of 11 motorcyclists as they rode in formation in Denver, according to the group's lawsuit. The group was held at gunpoint and handcuffed during the stop, in which dozens of officers participated, including the Denver SWAT team and a police helicopter. The lawsuit was eventually dismissed when the parties settled out of court.


Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Former Santa Clara cop goes on trial in federal court

For Clay Rojas, it has been a long, hard fall from being a Santa Clara police officer and former Marine sergeant who served in Iraq to a disgraced ex-cop tied to a Hells Angel with a rap sheet.
Starting Tuesday, the 37-year-old Rojas will begin the process of finding out whether that fall will ultimately land him in a federal prison cell.
Jury selection is set to begin in federal court in San Jose for Rojas' trial on charges he illegally supplied confidential law enforcement information to a member of the Hells Angels to pay off a debt. Lawyers are expected to then move into opening statements in U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh's courtroom, where the trial is scheduled to unfold over the next two weeks.
A federal grand jury last year indicted Rojas on charges that he furnished confidential law enforcement records, such as criminal histories and DMV records, to William "Billy" Bettencourt, a suspected member of the Hells Angels' Santa Cruz chapter who also faces related criminal charges in state and federal court. Bettencourt, with past convictions for witness intimidation and other violent crimes, could wind up in prison for life under the Three Strikes Law if he is convicted in the state case.
Rojas, who has pleaded not guilty, is being tried separately. He faces at least several years in prison if convicted in what his lawyers say is an overblown case against an officer who made a mistake and lost his job.
In court papers filed

in June, federal prosecutors laid out a simple case against Rojas, who has remained free on bail while awaiting trial. The jury will consider 12 counts against Rojas for conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, improper access of a computer and illegal use of a computer for financial gain.
Rojas, a five-year veteran of the Santa Clara Police Department who was fired in the aftermath of his arrest, admitted to investigators in October 2010 that he conducted the records checks for Bettencourt because he was under pressure to repay a loan, according to government court papers. Rojas' alleged scheme was uncovered in September 2010.
In court documents filed in a related state case, Rojas told investigators he knew Bettencourt was a Hells Angel, but said he did not believe he had committed any wrongdoing. There were repeated BlackBerry text message exchanges between the two men uncovered by investigators, including one in which Bettencourt allegedly asked Rojas to get information on someone else.
"Want me to check her record?" the cop texted back. "Yes," Bettencourt messaged back, "Just lookn 4 dirt I guess."
The U.S. attorney's office declines to comment on pending cases, but in a recent court filing branded the conduct a breach of public trust. Santa Clara police brass will testify that other officers were warned in a memo not to associate with Bettencourt, court papers show.
"The quid pro quo was confidential information in exchange for additional time to repay a loan owed to Bettencourt," prosecutors wrote. "By providing this information to Bettencourt, Rojas breached the duty of honest services he owed the Santa Clara Police Department, as well as the citizens of Santa Clara."
Daniel Jensen, Rojas' lawyer, said he is puzzled by the federal charges, describing them as an overreaction to conduct that usually results in a firing, a misdemeanor and perhaps community service. Jensen concedes Rojas made a mistake and should not have accessed the law enforcement data for Bettencourt, but will argue there is no proof of a conspiracy or that Rojas got any financial benefit from the favors.
In addition to Bettencourt, Rojas also is charged in one instance with supplying confidential information to Vivian Rodriguez, a San Jose woman connected to the biker who also has been indicted in the case.
"They've overplayed the hell out of this case," said Jensen, who often represents police officers in trouble. "You say the words 'Hells Angel' in law enforcement and they think it's a big conspiracy."


Saturday, 16 July 2011

Hells Angels bikie Samir Jouayde marries long-time love Susie Arida

HE came close to spending his special day behind bars - but an 11th-hour reprieve saw Hells Angels biker Samir Jouayde celebrate his wedding with his long-time lover Susie Arida.

Dressed in his bikie gang colours but with a Nomads logo on the front, Jouayde danced the night away with his bride at a lavish bash in Lidcombe - featuring hip-hop artists, a magician and a Lebanese rock band.

"It's party time," said Jouayde, flanked by members of the Parramatta chapter of the Hells Angels outlaw motorcycle gang.

But his celebration last night with 300 guests almost didn't happen.

Jouayde and four of his Hells Angels associates were arrested last week and charged over the alleged theft of four luxury cars and an attempt to extort $120,000 from Terry Mullens, owner of a luxury Burwood car dealership.

The cars were taken on Thursday, July 7, but in a bizarre turn of events were returned undamaged 26 hours later. The gangs squad arrested Jouayde and four others last Monday.

Initially refused bail, and set to miss his $32,000 wedding, Jouayde's barrister made a successful last-ditch appeal on Friday which saw the bikie released under strict curfew.

He said sitting in a cell thinking he was going to miss his wedding "was a bit nerve-racking".

His bail condition means he is under house arrest between 8pm and 8am but last night was allowed out until 2am for his wedding.

Jouayde granted The Sunday Telegraph exclusive access to the event at the New Westella Reception Centre, Lidcombe

"Just make sure you write good things and tell people how nice we are," Jouayde said.

He laughed when asked what he thought of his barrister, George Thomas, who said: "What I can't understand is why a fellow would want to get out of jail to get married, which is like a life sentence anyway."

"He's funny like that, always joking around," he said. "It's a life sentence I'm happy to serve."

The bride said she was nervous the wedding would not go ahead.


Saturday, 9 July 2011

Biker gangs in weekend shootout have history of feuds Motorcycle gang experts say the Hell's Angels and the Vagos fight across the state

:Biker gangs in weekend shootout have history of feuds Motorcycle gangexperts say the Hell's Angels and the Vagos fight across the state Text may be subject to copyright.This blog does not claim copyright to any such text. Copyright remains with the original copyright holder

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Reputed Pagans leader jailed after Pa. drug raid

The reputed national president of the outlaw Pagans Motorcycle Club was jailed after a state police SWAT team raided his Pennsylvania home and allegedly found cocaine and methamphetamine.
Dennis "Rooster" Katona is well-known for his ties to the outlaw biker gang, including playing a role in a bloody 2002 rumble with the Hells Angels in New York that sent him to prison for several years.
State police said little about Wednesday's drug raid. Trooper Steve Limani, a spokesman for the Greensburg barracks, put the street value of the drugs at about $20,000, but said he didn't know if the investigation was self-contained or part of a larger probe.
Katona's Hempfield Township home was raided under a search warrant that remains sealed, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the AP. According to the complaint, troopers found more than three ounces of cocaine, nearly four ounces of methamphetamine, a digital scale and an "owe sheet."
Katona was arraigned by video from the Westmoreland County Prison and was ordered held in jail after he was unable to immediately post $750,000 bail. The district judge's staff said he appeared without counsel, and online court records do not list an attorney for him.
Authorities have identified Katona as the national president of the Pagans. The group's former leader was sentenced to federal prison for racketeering in December, though Katona was not named in two 2009 grand jury documents

targeting the gang.
Nine years ago, federal prosecutors in New York identified Katona as the group's national sergeant-at-arms when he pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy for helping lead a Pagans attack on a biker convention in Plainview, N.Y.
In that case, Katona acknowledged that Pagans from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Ohio and elsewhere went to the Long Island biker convention in February 2002 to retrieve Pagan property "by force." One man was killed and 10 others injured in the melee. One of 73 Pagans convicted in the case, Katona pleaded guilty in June 2002.
Katona was released from prison in 2006 for the Hells Angels attack. He was not among 55 Pagan members and associates who were indicted by a federal grand jury in Charleston, W.Va., in 2009 on kidnapping, racketeering and other charges. The indictment resulted in guilty pleas and prison sentences for the group's former national president, David Keith Barbeito, 50, of Myersville, Md., and its vice president, Floyd "Jesse" Moore, 65, of St. Albans, W.Va.
A Pennsylvania state grand jury returned a presentment in Pittsburgh, also in 2009, identifying the gang as participating in a drug ring supplied by dealers in Atlanta, but Katona was not named in that investigation either.


Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Mounties guilty of assault

Two off-duty Mounties who were beaten by a group of bikers outside a Kelowna nightclub have themselves pleaded guilty to assaulting a member of the Hells Angels.

In August 2009, Cst. Chris MacDonald of Prince Edward Island and Cst. Kiel Samotej of Alberta were visiting Kelowna when they deliberately shoulder bumped the biker inside Cheetah's strip bar.

The Hells Angel summoned help from his fellow club members who were nearby.

The two drunken cops and several other RCMP officers they were drinking with at a Stag party were beaten.

MacDonald had to spend a night in hospital.

Both he and Samotej were ordered to pay $500 in Victim Surcharge fees and given absolute discharges.

It means they don't have criminal records.

One of the bikers was also charged with assault.

His case is still before the courts.


Boy shot in home, bikers suspected

Gang cops are investigating after a 14-year-old boy was shot while sleeping on a couch in his family's townhouse early Monday.

Police downplayed questions about any possible connections between what sources describe as a "war" between the Rock Machine and the Redlined Crew, an affiliate of the Hells Angels.

"There's nothing that we can say to support 100% that this is organized crime or gang related," said Const. Jason Michalyshen.

Margaret Morrissette, who lives next door, said three bullets pierced a wall right next to the bed in which she was sleeping with her boyfriend early Monday.

"The police officer said that we were lucky to be alive," a shaken Morrisette said.

"He said you're lucky to be alive. He said you should go buy a lottery ticket because luck is on your side, (because) we should've been dead."

The mother of a seven-year-old girl and 13-year-old boy said she no longer feels safe after the townhouse was hit with a spray of bullets in what Morrissette described as a drive-by shooting.

The teen, who was shot in what police will only describe as the lower body, was taken to hospital in stable condition.

The victim, whose name was not released by police, is "very, very fortunate," Michalyshen said.

He would not specify exactly what type of firearm that was used but said it was "a large-calibre that could cause someone serious injury."

Though the organized crime unit is investigating, police said it is unclear whether the shooting is somehow linked to an incident in which a home was shot up and reportedly firebombed last Wednesday. A day earlier, shots were fired into another home.

"We are treating these as separate incidents," said Michalyshen.

Though Morrissette isn't sure why the townhouses might have been targeted - she said the neighbours seem like nice, decent people - her first instinct is to get out of the neighbourhood.

"Either you bulletproof my house or get me out of here. I'm not having this again" she said. "I almost just want to move out of the whole entire city."


The Court of Appeal has reduced the sentence of a patched Mongrel Mob member who was involved in the shooting of a Hells Angels gang member.

Bronson Pekapo and Karl Nestor Nathan appealed their convictions for the attempted murder of Wanganui Hells Angel president Wayne Tweeddale in February 2008, while Pekapo also appealed his sentence of 10 years' jail.

Pekapo and Nathan had been in a car driven by another man when they were texted by a mob member and told to "get" Tweeddale.

After getting a shotgun from the gang pad, they chased the motorcyclist on State Highway 2 south of Hastings.

Nathan then shot Mr Tweeddale in the back, while Pekapo gave encouragement and assistance.

Both Pekapo and Nathan, who were given a joint trial, appealed their convictions on the basis that evidence given by the driver of the car, Tawhiri Hone, resulted in a miscarriage of justice and should not have been admissible.

The pair also argued the judge failed to adequately instruct that evidence given by Hone could be unreliable,

In appealing against his sentence, Pekapo argued that since he was not the shooter he should have received a lesser jail term.

In a written decision, the Court of Appeal threw out the appeal against conviction, saying the judge was "right to rule" Hone's statements admissible and there had been no miscarriage of justice.

However, the Court of Appeal agreed Pekapo should receive a reduced sentence because he played a lesser role.

"We find it impossible to accept that Pekepo's actions rendered him equally culpable with the driver, whose actions made the shooting possible, and with the shooter himself," the ruling said.

It reduced Pekapo's sentence to 8-1/2 years' prison.



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