Mon
12
Aug
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Nevada jury hears openings in biker club racketeering trial

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A jury in Las Vegas heard two vastly different views in a federal racketeering trial that opened Monday for eight Vagos biker gang members stemming from a 2011 shootout that killed a rival Hells Angels leader in a Nevada casino.

Prosecutor John Han called it an orchestrated murder approved by Vagos international president Pastor Palafox.

Defense attorney Michael Kennedy countered that using a gun to stop two active shooters in a crowded Reno-area casino is not murder.

Representing Vagos member Ernesto Gonzalez, Kennedy told jurors that two Hells Angels members shot first and were “stomping” a man at gunpoint when Gonzalez shot Jeffrey Pettigrew dead.

Prosecutors call Pettigrew’s killing part of a pattern of more than a decade of Vagos crimes in California, Arizona, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah and Nevada.

Mon
29
Jul
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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.

 

Sat
27
Jul
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Alleged leader of local 'outlaw motorcycle club' arrested on plethora of charges by Tri-County Gang Unit

A 49-year-old Carson City man was arrested by the Tri-County Gang Unit on five felony charges, one gross misdemeanor charge, and three misdemeanor charges after he allegedly committed felony domestic battery.

According to the report, David Sanchez is the president of the Deadly Sins Motorcycle Club Carson City Nevada chapter and he is associated with the Vagos Motorcycle Club and was arrested in the 900 block of Woodside Drive early Friday morning.

The Deadly Sins MC is a support motorcycle club for the Vagos MC, which is an Outlaw Motorcycle Gang that commonly engages in felonious activities, the report states.

Vagos MC support clubs “commonly engage in buying and selling drugs and firearms and they provide a portion of the revenue from these sales to the Vagos MC.”

Late Thursday evening, upon arrival, deputies made contact with Sanchez and his child. Deputies took Sanchez into custody for felony domestic battery.

Fri
22
Mar
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El Cortez shooting suspects believed to be members of Hells Angels-affiliated motorcycle club

LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Police believe three suspects in a shooting early Sunday at the El Cortez were members of a motorcycle club affiliated with the Hells Angels.

Officers responded to calls of shots fired and a person injured at the El Cortez early Sunday morning, according to an arrest report filed in the case.

When police arrived, they found four victims who had received apparent gunshot wounds. All four were wearing clothing and indicia associated with the Vagos motorcycle gang, according to the arrest report.

 

Officers found four other Vagos members and prospects near the crime scene and detained them for questioning, the report said.

Sun
30
Sep
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Carson City Sheriff's Office arrest log: Deputies make felony cocaine busts

A 32 year-old Reno man was arrested Friday evening at 7:34 p.m. in the area of North Carson Street and College Parkway on felony drug possession and a host of misdemeanor offenses, a Carson City Sheriff's deputy reported.

Jeramy Scoggin was taken into custody after the motorcycle he was riding had been stopped for no visible license plate. Registration on the motorcycle was found to be expired for more than a year, according to the arrest report.

Scoggin was observed to be wearing the insignia of a motorcycle gang, the report said. He failed multiple times to comply with law enforcement instructions to place his hands on his head and keep his kick stand up while straddling the bike with his legs.

Thu
29
Jun
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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.

Thu
27
Apr
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Witness says he lied about casino gang killing

RENO, Nev. (AP) - The star witness who helped convict the triggerman who killed a high-ranking Hells Angels' boss at a Nevada casino in 2011 says he was lying when he testified that the shooting was an assassination plot orchestrated by a rival motorcycle gang, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Prosecutors think the recantation is a lie, but it could make it more difficult to get another murder conviction against Ernesto Gonzalez, a former Vagos gang member. He's scheduled to be tried again in August after the Nevada Supreme Court threw out the conviction because of improper jury instructions.

Legal scholars say it's hard to predict jurors' reaction to recanted testimony, but it raises questions about the claims of suspects who make deals with prosecutors to take the stand in exchange for more lenient sentences, as Gary "Jabbers" Rudnick did.

Fri
07
Oct
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Motorcycle shop owner arrested in Sept. 14 shooting of motorcyclist

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.

Mon
26
Sep
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Two Carson City search warrant executed in connection with California murder

Street Vibrations weekend ended with two warrant services on a Carson City residence and business for evidence in an alleged gang-related murder.

The Carson City Sheriff’s Office, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Lyon County Sheriff’s Office Gang Units, and Tri-Net conducted two search warrants for property related to a shooting several weeks ago in Yuba City, Calif. It is suspected that the shooting was a gang killing, possible involving the motorcycle gang, the Hell’s Angels, law enforcement officials said.

Sunday morning, the Sheriff’s Office received search warrants to look for property related to the shooting at the Roop Street Tanglewood Village apartments and at the Highway 50 Nautical Motorcycles. There also was a simultaneous search done in Yuba City by the SWAT there.

“This residence and business were identified as connected to persons sought, but at this time there are no active warrants,” Carson City Sheriff Ken Furlong said.

Fri
23
Sep
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5 years after biker gang casino shootout, new trial looms

RENO, Nev. (AP) — Casino patrons dived for cover under blackjack tables as two rival gangs fired dozens of shots at each other during a deadly brawl on the floor of a northern Nevada casino five years ago this weekend.

The day after a Hells Angels boss died in the melee, a member of the Vagos gang was shot in retaliation, leading the mayor of Sparks to declare a state of emergency. FBI agents joined an extensive manhunt for the killer.

Ernesto Gonzalez, a Vagos leader, was caught a week later, telling police who found him cowering in his car in San Francisco that he was relieved to be caught. He had feared they were Hells Angels coming to kill him.

Gonzalez was convicted of the slaying and sentenced to life in prison but won an appeal before the Nevada Supreme Court in December and was granted a new trial.

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