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Riverside shooting suspect was Vagos motorcycle gang member with criminal history, sources say

(video) --- The man who authorities say engaged officers in a violent gun battle during a traffic stop off the 215 Freeway in Riverside, killing one California Highway Patrol officer and wounding two others, was identified Tuesday as 49-year-old Aaron Luther, according to a law enforcement source.

Luther, a member of the Vagos motorcycle gang who died in Monday’s shootout, has a lengthy criminal record dating to the 1990s across Southern California, according to public records and law enforcement sources. He served time in state prison before being released in 2007.

Authorities have not determined a motive in the shooting.

What began as a routine traffic stop Monday evening quickly turned deadly, prompting a massive response from law enforcement agencies across the region.

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Nevada jury being picked for biker club racketeering trial

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A jury is being picked in federal court in Las Vegas for the racketeering trial of eight accused Vagos motorcycle club members in a sweeping case stemming from the killing of a rival Hells Angels leader from California at a northern Nevada casino in 2011.

Prosecutors allege the Vagos is a broad criminal enterprise engaged for more than a decade in murder, kidnapping, extortion, witness intimidation and drug and weapons trafficking.

The eight men standing trial represent the first of three groups totaling 21 defendants in the case that prosecutors allege involves crimes in California, Arizona, Hawaii, Oregon and Nevada.

The men have each pleaded not guilty.

Jury selection is expected to take several days, and opening statements are scheduled Aug. 12.

Trial could take up to four months.


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Upland candidate Rudy Zuñiga says he quit the Vagos motorcycle gang, criticizes police chief

Upland City Council candidate Rudy Zuñiga and his supporters are criticizing Police Chief Darren Goodman over comments he made about documents showing Zuñiga was once a member of the Vagos motorcycle gang.

“For Chief Goodman to assume that I’m a gang member when I’ve never spoke to you, you don’t know me, we never had any conversations,” Zuñiga told the council and Goodman Monday, Oct. 22, during the public comment portion of the regular council meeting. “I’m not what you think I am. I’m actually a really nice guy.”

During the meeting, Zuñiga said he was part of the gang in the past, but said his name should have fallen out of the state’s gang database after he hadn’t been active for more than five years.

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Police records: Upland council candidate Rudy Zuñiga is Vagos outlaw motorcycle gang member

A candidate for Upland City Council is more than the business owner he declares himself to be on the November ballot, according to records from Upland police. Rudy Zuñiga, 47, is a documented member of the Vagos outlaw motorcycle gang, police records show, leading the city’s top cop to question his fitness for elected office.

During a traffic stop seven years ago, Zuñiga told Upland police Officer Maurice Duran he was a member of the outlaw group, according to the field interview report filed by Duran that day. Since Zuñiga announced his candidacy for Upland City Council, he has made mention of his affiliation with motorcycle enthusiasts but has not publicly identified the group.

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Atascadero Police make arrests in possible gang-related assault

Suspects may have ties to Vagos Motorcycle Gang

ATASCADERO, Calif. - Police have arrested two people with possible ties to a California gang involved in a late night shooting in Atascadero.

Atascadero Police responded to a report of a fight behind the bar, Whiskey & June, located at 5950 El Camino Real around 1: 40 a.m. on Wednesday. Police say a physical fight between two people escalated when one man retrieved a handgun from his truck and pointed it at the victim. The man fired a single round at the victim but missed. 

San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Department confirmed that the suspect involved in the late night assault may have possible ties to the Vagos Motorcycle Gang.

Around 11:51 a.m., officers located the possible suspect in a black truck on Olmeda and Rosario. Officers followed the truck and made a high-risk stop at the Stow It Mini Storage facility on Traffic Way.

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Vagos Case Court Filing in Las Vegas Reports Bombing Threats

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Prosecutors in Las Vegas say telephoned bomb threats are reasons to deny bail to a defendant in a criminal racketeering case involving 23 accused Vagos motorcycle club leaders, members or associates.

Defense attorney Chris Rasmussen on Thursday dismissed the account by prosecutors as a desperate and unsubstantiated attempt to keep his client, John Seimer (SEE'-mer), in federal custody until trial.

Court filings cited two telephoned threats last Saturday to the FBI and Los Angeles police.

Prosecutors said both referred to the June 16 arrests of Vagos case defendants and named Seimer.

One caller also named two other defendants and said a bomb had been placed to explode on or before Friday.

The FBI and U.S. prosecutors didn't immediately respond to telephone and email messages.

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Nampa motorcycle gang member sentenced for dealing meth

BOISE, ID - David Allen Oney Jr., 35, of Nampa was sentenced to ten years in federal prison Thursday for distributing methamphetamine, Acting U.S. Attorney Rafael Gonzalez said. 

Oney will have to serve a five-year period of supervised release following his term of imprisonment and pay a $100 special assessment.

Oney entered his guilty plea March 28.

According to court documents, Oney, a self-proclaimed member of the Vagos motorcycle club, sold over 100 grams of pure methamphetamine over the course of three separate drug buys.  During the last sale, law enforcements agents discovered that Oney had brought his young daughter along. 

Oney had been held at the Ada County Jail while awaiting sentencing. During that time, Oney threatened the life of a deputy, struck another inmate in the head and attempted to manipulate his jail cell door, among other violations.

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Vagos Motorcycle Club targeted in raids; 22 arrested, including in Moreno Valley, Beaumont, Fontana

(32 pics)--Federal agents served arrest and search warrants in the Inland Empire and around Southern California on Friday, June 16, arresting 22 people they described as members of the Vagos Motorcycle Club.

Federal authorities consider the Vagos to be an outlaw motorcycle gang.

The arrests were made in Moreno Valley, Beaumont, Fontana, Pasadena, Granada Hills, Alhambra, Canyon Country, Hollister, San Jose, Oahu, Hawaii, Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.

Among those arrested were John Chrispin Juarez, 69, of Moreno Valley; Pastor Fausto Palafox, 53, of Beaumont; Andrew Eloy Lozano, 42, of Fontana; Paul Jeffrey Voll, 52, of Pasadena; James Patrick Gillespie, 68, of Granada Hills; and Bradley Michael Campos, 50, of Alhambra.

In Moreno Valley, about two dozen agents, along with dogs, searched a two-story home with a Spanish-style roof and American flag out front in the 10700 block of Mendoza Road.