Six Members And Associates Of The Hells Angels Charged In White Plains Federal Court With Racketeering, Narcotics, And Money Laundering Offenses

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Joon H. Kim, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI’), announced the unsealing of an Indictment charging six members and associates of the Hells Angels with various racketeering, narcotics, and money laundering offenses, including the assault of a rival gang member with a hammer.


THOMAS SCHMIDT, JOSEPH KAPLAN, JOHN CALVACCHIO, JEFF AMATO, and GARY PAGANELLI were taken into federal custody this morning and were presented before United States Magistrate Judge Judith C. McCarthy. MICHAEL PICCIONE was taken into federal custody this morning near Los Angeles, California, and will be presented later today before a magistrate judge in the Central District of California. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel.


Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim said: “As alleged, through the sale of cocaine, oxycodone, and marijuana and their violent conflict with rival gangs, members of the New Roc Hells Angels wreaked havoc on the streets of Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess counties. Together with our law enforcement partners, we are determined to combat gang and drug violence throughout the Southern District of New York.”


FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said: “Violent gangs such as the Hells Angels often use violence and intimidation as a means to establish themselves or protect their ‘turf.’ In this case they allegedly used those tactics by attacking a rival gang member with a hammer in the middle of a restaurant and placing innocent people in danger. Regardless of the name these men operate under, the FBI Westchester Safe Streets Gang Task Force works daily to remove these alleged violent members of our society and to create a safer community for everyone.”


As alleged in the Indictment unsealed today in White Plains federal court[1] and in court proceedings:


The New Roc Hells Angels were a criminal enterprise that operated principally in and around Westchester, Putnam, and Dutchess counties, from at least 2008 up to and including August 2014. The New Roc Hells Angels’ objectives included narcotics trafficking, extortion, money laundering, contraband cigarettes, prostitution, and altered motor vehicle parts.


Members and associates of the New Roc Hells Angels engaged in acts of violence against rival gang members. One of these acts was a December 2012 gang assault committed against a rival motorcycle gang – the Diablos – where members and associates of the New Roc Hells Angels beat a member of the Diablos on the head with a hammer at a restaurant in Poughkeepsie, New York, while innocent bystanders were dining. This violent act was to retaliate against the Diablos, who had encroached on the territory controlled by the New Roc Hells Angels, and otherwise to promote the standing and reputation of the New Roc Hells Angels among rival gangs.


Count One of the Indictment charges THOMAS SCHMIDT, the former Vice-President of the New Roc Hells Angels, with participating in a racketeering conspiracy.


Count Two charges SCHMIDT and JOSEPH KAPLAN with assault in aid of racketeering activity in connection with the December 2012 assault of a member of a rival gang.


Count Three charges SCHMIDT, MICHALE PICCIONE, JOHN CALVACCHIO, JEFF AMATO, and GARY PAGANELLI with participating in a narcotics conspiracy, in connection with the distribution of cocaine, oxycodone, and marijuana.


Count Four charges SCHMIDT and PICCIONE with conspiracy to commit money laundering.


Count Five charges PAGANELLI with possessing with intent to distribute and distributing cocaine.


Count Six charges AMATO with possessing with intent to distribute and distributing methamphetamine.


* * *


Charts containing the names, ages, residences, charges, and maximum penalties for the defendants are set forth below.
(@orig article)

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