Finger tattoos gave wanted Hells Angel away to alert Mountie

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~~San Diego club member ordered deported from Canada to face U.S. charges~~

It was his tattoos that gave American Hells Angel and fugitive Troy Andrew Scholder away.

An alert Mountie noticed H-A-M-C across the fingers of his right hand, for Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, and D-A-G-O across the left, for the San Diego chapter.

Scholder, 33, was caught during a routine traffic stop near Langley’s Willowbrook mall on May 8.

He said he had arrived in Canada on May 6, despite being on the lam since August 2011. And he told the RCMP that he had hitchhiked here and crossed the border without identification documents while sleeping on the back seat of a stranger’s car.

On Friday, Immigration Board member Laura Ko ordered Scholder deported and told him he was inadmissible to re-enter Canada because of his own criminal history and because the San Diego Hells Angels qualified as a criminal organization under Canadian immigration laws.

He is to be handed over to U.S. authorities to face charges related to kidnappings, assaults and robberies allegedly done for the Hells Angels.

Ko accepted evidence by Canada Border Services Agency representative Becky Chan about a pattern of crimes linked to the San Diego Hells Angels dating back more than a decade.

Former U.S. Drug Administration special agent Patrick Ryan testified at Friday’s hearing on a speakerphone from San Diego. He described a litany of charges and convictions against San Diego HA members stemming from several investigations in which he was involved.

A previous club president was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder after ordering a hit on the rival Mongol gang. Other members have convictions for trafficking methamphetamine and other drugs.

Then there was the April 26, 2007 incident that led to charges against Scholder and several of his gang-mates, including chapter president Stephen Sanders.

Ryan said a former club member tried to quit the Hells Angels on good terms only to be told at a weekly “church” meeting that he would only be allowed to leave in “bad standing.” The man was beaten and had his Hells Angels tattoos forcibly blacked out on the spot by another member, “disfiguring him.” He was then put into a truck and driven to his home where he was forced “under threat” to sign over his Harley. Scholder was part of the escort team, Ryan said.

The man was then taken to a second location where Hells Angels members stole a television and other possessions.

Ryan said several of Scholder’s co-accused pleaded guilty, including to charges they committed the crimes for the benefit of a criminal street gang — the Hells Angels.

Sanders, the former president, was handed a 25-year sentence for the 2007 attack, as well as another kidnapping, assault and robbery.

Ryan said the San Diego chapter — dubbed Dago — is regarded highly within the 300 worldwide Hells Angels branches and is of strategic importance because of its proximity to the Mexican border.

“They are the biggest and most organized criminal motorcycle gang in the world,” Ryan said of the Hells Angels.

The CBSA’s Chan pointed to other Immigration Board decisions, as well as court cases across Canada where the Hells Angels have been found to be a criminal organization.

But Ko said she didn’t need to rule on the status of the broader Hells Angels group because she accepted that the 33-member San Diego chapter was a criminal gang.

“I find that the minister has established all of the essential elements of the allegations that are made against you, that you are a foreign national that is inadmissible to Canada on grounds of organized criminality,” Ko said.

She asked Scholder several times during the two-hour hearing if he wanted to respond to any of the submissions by the CBSA or say anything on his behalf. He repeatedly declined.

With a shaved head and light beard, Scholder looked completely different from the photo on his 2011 wanted poster in which he has no beard and a head of hair. He wore red prison garb with the skull tattoos on his forearms visible, as well as the ones on his fingers.

Chan asked that Scholder be held in custody until his deportation, which was expected to occur within hours.

“Mr. Sholder is a fugitive from justice and has been since 2011,” Chan said. “He arrived in Canada with no identity documents. He was initially evasive with police.”

Ko agreed to hold Scholder in custody until he is deported.

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