Motorcycle shop owner arrested in Sept. 14 shooting of motorcyclist

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The owner of a Yuba City motorcycle shop arrested Wednesday for a September shooting is alleged to have ties to the Hells Angels.

Francisco "Cisco" Fernandez, 34, was taken into custody in Carson City, Nev., on a Yuba City warrant, accused of attempted murder for the benefit of a criminal street gang.

He allegedly shot a man Sept. 14, according to Yuba City police spokesperson Shawna Pavey.

Officers received calls of shots fired and found a man in the street at Lincoln and Jones roads. Witnesses said the victim, whose name was not released, was riding a Harley-Davidson when shots were fired from what police were told was a white SUV traveling west toward Highway 99.

The victim was hospitalized for multiple nonlife-threatening gunshot wounds and released a few days later, Pavey said.

"We developed enough information in the course of the investigation to believe that (Fernandez's) actions are related to his affiliation with a criminal street gang," Pavey said. "Francisco is believed to be a member of the Hells Angels."

Wednesday was the second time in 10 days Fernandez was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

On Sept. 24, he was arrested in Redding for what police called a road rage incident. Multiple shots were fired from a handgun toward Ryan Thomas Clements, 20, and his girlfriend, Samantha Dyan Prior, 21, both of Old Shasta.

Clements was struck in the arm. Fernandez was booked into Shasta County Jail and was released after he posted bail, which had been set at $500,000.

Police have not said there is any tie between the shootings.

Fernandez was interviewed in 2009 for an Appeal-Democrat "Us Profile." He said he was born and raised in Yuba City and that as a U.S. Marine he was part of the initial force that invaded Iraq.

He lives in Yuba City with his wife and owns Nautical Customs, a motorcycle shop on Garden Highway in Yuba City and in Carson City.

Search warrants related to the Yuba City shooting were served last weekend at both shops, as well as the residence of Fernandez's girlfriend in Carson City.

Items associated with the Hells Angels were located during the sweeps, according to Carson City officials.

The Department of Justice says the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club is an outlaw motorcycle gang with between 2,000 and 2,500 members who belong to over 230 chapters around the world.

Yuba City is not listed as having a chapter on the Hells Angels website. The nearest is Sacramento.

The group's activities have been documented to range from fundraising for charity to drug dealing and homicide. Hells Angels were suspected of shooting and killing a motorcyclist affiliated with the Vagos motorcycle club near Truckee on Sept. 26, around the time that thousands of bikers had gathered in Reno for the Street Vibrations Fall Rally.

Five years ago during that rally, members of the Vagos and Hells Angels exchanged deadly gunfire in a casino in Sparks, Nev.

The sheriff of Carson City, Ken Furlong, said his deputies have watched Fernandez at his shop for a while after members of the Hells Angels began appearing in Carson City around May.

"They were flipping off and screaming at officers," Furlong said. "I visited the shop and told 'em, 'We're watching.'"

It became known that groups of Hells Angels were going in and out of the shop, which made neighboring businesses uncomfortable, he said.

Fernandez was evicted from one location and was moving into another. He was arrested near the old location without a struggle after Carson City officials got the go-ahead to arrest from Sutter County District Attorney Amanda Hopper.

Fernandez remained in Carson City Jail on Thursday afternoon and will likely be transferred to Sutter County after an extradition hearing. Criminal charges are expected to be filed today in Sutter County Superior Court.

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Monica Vaughan
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