Thu
17
May
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Twin Peaks cases unravel as 3rd anniversary arrives

By the evening of May 17, 2015, the bodies of nine dead bikers had been cleared from the parking lot of the Twin Peaks restaurant, and the Waco Police Department was working America’s deadliest episode of biker violence as a murder case.  read the rest

Wed
16
May
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Wisconsin man imprisoned for deadly motorcycle shop standoff

OSHKOSH, Wis. — A Wisconsin man has been sentenced to 100 years in prison for his role in a standoff at a motorcycle shop that led to the death of one of his hostages.

A jury in March found Brian Flatoff guilty of 14 felonies, including attempted homicide. Jurors rejected his insanity defense, determining he did not suffer from a mental disease or defect during the December 2015 standoff with police at Eagle Nation Cycles in Neenah.

Authorities say Flatoff shot at officers and initiated the sequence of events that led to the death of 60-year-old hostage Michael Funk. Police mistakenly shot Funk during the standoff. Officers have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

A judge sentenced the 48-year-old Flatoff Wednesday to a 100-year term. Flatoff said he'll appeal his conviction.

Wed
16
May
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Motorcycle club claims harassment. Sonora police asks the public to watch the video

The Sonora Police Department put out a message on Facebook regarding this YouTube video, in which bikers accuse members of the Police Department of profiling local bikers. Warning: Graphic content. YouTube video by Jus Brothers Nate Smith

A video posted on YouTube last week shows members of the Jus Brothers motorcycle club criticizing a police sergeant who photographed the license plates on their parked motorcycles.

The motorcycle club members in the video, which had more than 14,700 views on Wednesday morning, say they were doing nothing wrong when the Sonora police sergeant started harassing them. They say police unlawfully profiled the club members as a motorcycle gang in the incident that appeared to have occurred in downtown Sonora.

Tue
15
May
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Councilman stepping down after he said White Settlement honored Bandidos motorcycle gang

Councilman Dave Mann abruptly resigned Tuesday night, a week after the city, he said, recognized local Bandidos motorcycle gang members during a proclamation for Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month.

Mann, who was elected two years ago, is also a Tarrant County sheriff’s deputy.

Mann read a written statement before Tuesday’s council meeting, saying that he could no longer serve on a council that did not value and protect its citizens. Members from the local Bandidos motorcycle gang attended the council meeting May 8, he said.

Tue
15
May
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Convicted Devil's Diciples members argue for lower sentences

The activities of each Devil’s Diciples Motorcycle Club member occurred in a vacuum, not as a concerted, organized effort of the entire club.

 

 

That is the argument presented by attorneys for eight men convicted of various charges for their roles in the former Clinton Township-based national club following two trials in U.S. District Court in Detroit.

 

 

The 36-page brief portrays DDMC as not very organized and contends members should not be held accountable merely because they knew the club’s bylaws.

 

The Devil’s Diciples logo

The Devil’s Diciples logo

 

Tue
15
May
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Sonora Police Responds To Video Alleging Profiling Against Bikers

(video)---SONORA (CBS13) – The Sonora Police Department is firing back after allegations of profiling against bikers.

In a video published on May 10 to YouTube, Sonora police officers can be seen checking out a group of bikes parked in the city. One officer appears to be taking photos of the bikes’ license plates. A person behind the camera can be heard saying “We get this kind of hassle from Sonora PD all the time.”

The riders claim the officer was saying and treating them like they were all in a motorcycle gang.

The video has since racked up more than 11,000 views.

Tuesday, the Sonora Police Department released a statement addressing the situation.

Tue
15
May
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DA dismisses five more Twin Peaks cases

The McLennan County District Attorney's Office dismissed five more Twin Peaks cases Tuesday morning as the massive event that once included 155 indicted bikers continues to unravel.

Judge Ralph Strother of 19th State District Court signed dismissals on cases for Noe Adame, James Caffey, Stephen Dudley, Paul Miller and George Rogers, bringing the number of dismissals of the 155 indicted to 126. 

On Monday, 54th State District Judge Matt Johnson signed off on the dismissals of Thomas Paul Landers, Christopher M. Stainton and Michael Herring. 

All were indicted on a first-degree felony charge of engaging in organized criminal activity in the May 2015 shootout between the Bandidos and Cossacks in which nine were killed and 20 injured. 

Tue
15
May
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Hells Angels vs. Allen Ginsberg: The unlikely Vietnam War-era confrontation

(16 photos)---It would be an understatement to say the Hells Angels and Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg had differing world views. In the Vietnam War era, those views came into conflict in the Bay Area.

A recent trip to The Chronicle’s basement archive turned up a pack of negatives labeled “Hells Angels Debate.” It’s likely that no one had looked through these negatives in decades, and upon closer inspection Ginsberg appeared in the batch. It was obvious this was a moment from the past that required retelling.

Mon
14
May
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Feds: Bandidos are “the mafia on two wheels”

A federal jury will begin deliberating Tuesday whether the top two former national leaders of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club headed a racketeering conspiracy and authorized or sanctioned members to commit extortion, robbery, assault, drug dealing and murder.

In closing arguments Monday of the nearly three-month trial in San Antonio, prosecutors painted Jeffrey Fay Pike, who was national president of the Bandidos from 2005 until January 2016, and then-vice president John Xavier Portillo, as crime bosses of a secretive gang of outlaw bikers who claimed Texas as their territory.

 

But lawyers for Pike, 63, of Conroe, and Portillo, 58, of San Antonio, countered that the defendants headed a fraternal, social club of motorcycle enthusiasts, and that the group had some “bad apples” who committed crimes for which neither Pike nor Portillo are responsible.

Mon
14
May
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DA dismisses three more Twin Peaks cases

The McLennan County District Attorney's Office dismissed three more Twin Peaks cases Monday, bringing the number of dismissals of the 155 indicted to 121. 

Other cases would have been dismissed Monday, but 19th State District Judge Ralph Strother was not available to sign them, court officials said. 

Judge Matt Johnson signed off Monday afternoon on the dismissals of Thomas Paul Landers, Christopher M. Stainton and Michael Herring. They were among a handful of bikers who were still under indictment for engaging in organized criminal activity, which was the original charge for all 155 indictments.

The DA's office obtained superseding indictments last week against 24 bikers charged in the shootout at the former restaurant on May 17, 2015 that left nine dead and 20 injured. Most were re-indicted on riot charges, while three were charged with murder and some also were charged with tampering with physical evidence. 

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