Tue
19
Jul
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Federal court case targets biker group’s ‘colors’

WASHINGTON

Federal prosecutors are revving up efforts to seize the trademarks of motorcycle clubs in California and possibly the Midwest in a renewed effort to target the groups’ colorful “patches” that members wear on their jackets and vests.

A First Amendment obstacle course still could lie ahead, experts warn, as officials go after organizations with names like the “Mongols” and the misspelled “Devils Diciples.” But in new legal filings, prosecutors are keeping alive tactics begun during the presidency of George W. Bush to cripple the groups by seizing their assets.

In a July 11 appellate court filing, prosecutors wrote that “a select group of the gang, so-called ‘full-patched’ members,” had obtained federal trademark protection for “two marks used by the gang to identify members and to terrorize enemies.” The filing called the Mongols’ registration “an audacious, novel move.”

Mon
18
Jul
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Lawyers for bikers charged in Waco shooting want DA removed

WACO, Texas (AP) — Two attorneys defending bikers charged in last year’s shooting outside a Waco restaurant that left nine dead say the local district attorney should be removed from the case.

KWTX-TV in Waco reported Monday that the attorneys allege McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna has a financial incentive to pursue cases against the bikers. They argue Reyna is pressing a flawed prosecution because he’s personally named in a civil lawsuit filed by the bikers.

They are calling for a special prosecutor to handle the cases.

Reyna has declined requests for comment.

The May 2015 shooting outside a Twin Peaks restaurant left 20 people injured. More than 150 people have been indicted on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity, a felony.

Mon
18
Jul
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Staten Island motorcycle club member shot in neck by gunman

A 47-year-old member of the 69ers Motorcycle Club was critically wounded by a gunman on Staten Island on Sunday, police said.

The man, whose identity was not immediately released, was shot in the neck near the group’s clubhouse on Hardy St. near Roff St. in Stapleton about 10:30 a.m., cops said.

An argument preceded the gunplay, but the details of the dispute were not immediately clear, cops said. It was not known if the man’s membership in the motorcycle club, which traces its roots to 1960s Brooklyn and has charters along the East Coast, was related to the attack.

“Motorcycles came up then I heard a boom,” said a woman who lives on the block and declined to give her name. “If this is a gang rival thing, now I’m worried about the kids being outside. Who knows what can happen?”

The victim was taken to Richmond University Medical Center in critical but stable condition, cops said.

Fri
15
Jul
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Two more bikers file suit over Twin Peaks arrests

Two more bikers arrested after the Twin Peaks shootout in Waco filed a civil rights lawsuit Friday, claiming they were improperly arrested with no evidence of wrongdoing and denied due process.

Christopher Eaton and Owen Bartlett, both members of the Los Pirados Motorcycle Club, bring the total of bikers who have filed civil lawsuits to 15.

The lawsuit lists Eaton as a Dallas County resident and says Bartlett is from McLennan County and names McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna, Waco Police Chief Brent Stroman, Waco police Detective Manuel Chavez and an unnamed Department of Public Safety agent as defendants.

All defendants previously have declined to comment on the lawsuits.

Wed
13
Jul
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Gypsy Jokers’ defense hammers police on DNA

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — DNA evidence was questioned by one of the defense attorneys for 3 men accused of brutally kidnapping, torturing and killing a former Gypsy Joker motorcycle gang member and seeking to be released on bail.

Mark Dencklau, Earl Fisher and Tiler Pribbernow are each seeking bail. They are all charged with 2 counts of murder, one count of criminal conspiracy to commit murder and solicitation to commit murder, 2 counts of criminal conspiracy to commit kidnapping and solicitation to commit first-degree kidnapping.

A fourth suspect, Malachi Watkins, is charged with one count of murder, 2 counts of first-degree kidnapping and 2 counts of criminal conspiracy to commit first-degree kidnapping. Watkins is being held on an unrelated case in Washington state.

Wed
13
Jul
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Hells Angel leader from Oakfield given 25 years in federal prison for meth distribution

An Oakfield resident who was reportedly a high-ranking member of the Hells Angels has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison for his part in a methamphetamine distribution ring.

James Heney "Mitch" McAuley Jr., 67, also will be barred from associating with members of the Hells Angels for five years upon his release from prison.

McAuley had previously entered a guilty plea to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 500 grams or more of methamphetamine.

Federal investigators say McAuley, a vice president of the Rochester chapter of the Hells Angels, was a leader role in a distribution ring that obtained meth from a source in California and had it shipped to New York for sale in Rochester.

The operation continued from at least 2002 through July 2010, with McAuley running it even after he was taken into custody on a racketeering charge in 2007.

Tue
12
Jul
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Legendary Custom Builder Cliff Vaughs Dies

Cliff Vaughs -- the man most often credited with building one of the most iconic choppers of all time -- has died. He was 79 years old.

Vaughs is credited with being the brains behind the “Captain America” bike that Peter Fonda rode in Easy Rider. Though, it took many years after the film came out for him to receive that credit.

vaughs3

Vaughs created both the “Captain America” bike, as well as the “Billy” motorcycle ridden by Dennis Hopper. He created two additional copies, which were used in stunts. All four were ultimately destroyed or disappeared from the set after filming. The bikes have become so much a part of motorcycling legend that a few years ago a chopper that owners claimed as the original Captain America sold for $1.35 million despite questions over its authenticity.

Mon
11
Jul
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Accused Gypsy Joker murderers seek bail

Loggers in Clark County found the body of Robert Lee Huggins on July 1, 2015

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Prosecutors will fight to keep three accused murder suspects with ties to the Gypsy Joker motorcycle gang locked up.

The hearing for Mark Leroy Dencklau, Tiler Evan Pribbernow and Earl Deverle Fisher is scheduled to go all day Monday. It will continue into Tuesday as well.

Robert Huggins, seen in a 2012 photo from the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office, was killed and dumped in a field in Clark County on July 1, 2015

Sun
10
Jul
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Motorcycle club visit leads to arrests in Palm Springs

Police arrested several members of the Mongols Motorcycle Club during the group's annual visit to Palm Springs this weekend.

Palm Springs police made "several warrant arrests and issued a few dozen citations," although the motorcycle club's visit concluded "without any major incidents," Lt. Mike Kovaleff said. Kovaleff said the warrants included misdemeanors and felonies, although he didn't have more specific details Sunday afternoon. During past visits to Palm Springs, several Mongols have been arrested on weapons-related charges.

The motorcycle club has 50 chapters in California, including one in Riverside, as well as chapters in 14 other states and several other countries. The annual Palm Springs visit generally draws hundreds of club members. They stayed at the Palm Springs Hilton this year.

Sat
09
Jul
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NHTSA investigates Harley-Davidson motorcycle brake failures

MILWAUKEE — The federal government is investigating complaints from Harley-Davidson owners who say their motorcycle brakes failed without warning.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the investigation covers 430,000 motorcycles with model years from 2008 through 2011. The investigation stems from bikes with an anti-lock braking system, according to NHTSA.

Riders reported that the brakes on the hand lever and foot pedal did not work, causing one driver to crash into a garage door. Government regulators said they received 43 complaints, three reports of crashes and two reports of injuries.

Regulators said it is possible that some riders who experienced brake failure did not change the motorcycle's brake fluid every two years as recommended by Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc.

The investigation is not a motorcycle product safety recall. Harley-Davidson said it is aware of the investigation and is cooperating with regulators.

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