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Law enforcement confirms fire is tied to biker gang

(video) --- WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live)-- Several sources within law enforcement say the fire that was intentionally set at a home Thursday night in West Fargo is tied to rival motorcycle gangs here in the Valley.

The fire in question was at 720 10th Ave. W. in West Fargo.

The homeowner was able to put out the flames with a garden hose before fire crews arrived.

Investigators spent more than an hour checking for clues.

Multiple law enforcement sources say the fire is the result of a feud between two biker gangs, Sons of Silence and Hells Angels.

A federal law enforcement source says the fire was started by a member of the Sons of Silence.

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'That’ll never be enough'

FARGO — After four years, a heartbreaking chapter in the lives of Amanda Stach Engst’s family came to a close Monday, Oct. 21, when a federal judge ruled that a man involved in her killing will spend the rest of his life in prison.

“We’ve been waiting four years for this day,” said Denise Stevenson, Engst’s mother, in a statement she gave in court before Judge Peter Welte handed down his sentence.

Billy Joe Herman, 40, of Warwick, N.D., appeared Monday morning at the federal courthouse in downtown Fargo to continue a sentencing hearing that began Friday, Oct. 18. In April, he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in connection with Engst’s death in October 2015.


Engst’s sisters, Kim Storbakken and Brianna Stach, gave victim impact statements along with their mother before the sentencing.

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North Dakota murder suspect was 'enforcer' for Sons of Silence motorcycle gang, FBI says

FARGO — Sentencing for a Warwick, N.D., man who admitted to killing a woman four years ago on the Spirit Lake Nation has been delayed, but testimony presented Friday, Oct. 18, revealed possible motives and the defendant's link to what has been dubbed an outlaw motorcycle gang.

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Bond reduced to $100,000 for man accused of manslaughter

A judge agreed Tuesday, Aug. 6, to lower the bond for a man accused of manslaughter after a deadly fight in downtown Williston in May, but not as much as the defense asked.

Northwest District Judge Kirsten Sjue said during a bond hearing Tuesday afternoon that lowering the bond for Justin Crites, 26, from $150,000 to $100,000 was as much as she felt comfortable doing. Misty Nehring, Crites' public defender, had asked for his bond to be lowered to $25,000.

Crites was arrested in June and charged with manslaughter, a class B felony. Police and prosecutors claim that early on the morning of May 4, Crites punched Jay LePage, 57, causing LePage to fall and hit his head on the sidewalk. LePage died in a Minot hospital days later.

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Bond reduced to $150K for Prairie Rattlers member accused of manslaughter in May death

A judge reduced the bond for a 26-year-old man accused of manslaughter to $150,000, on Tuesday, June 11, but refused to lower it as much as a defense attorney requested.

Justin Crites was charged last week with manslaughter, a class B felony, in connection with the death of 57-year-old Jay LePage in early May following an altercation outside The Shop Bar in Williston. On Friday, a judge set Crites' bond at $250,000.

On Tuesday, Jeff Nehring, who represented Crites at a bond hearing, asked Northwest District Judge Kirsten Sjue to lower the bond to $20,000 and order Crites to wear a GPS monitor. Nehring said the original bond was too high for multiple reasons.

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Police: Punch from a Prairie Rattler member caused 57-year-old to hit his head on the sidewalk after an argument at The Shop Bar in May

An argument between two women at a bar in downtown Williston led to a series of events that ended with a 57-year-old dying days later in a Minot hospital.

Police say that 26-year-old Justin Crites, also known as Preacher, attacked Jay LePage early on the morning of May 4 at The Shop Bar. Crites was charged Friday with manslaughter, a class B felony.

LePage had a broken jawbone and a preliminary autopsy found the cause of death was blunt force trauma to the back of the head, according to court documents.

LePage and his wife, Colleen, had gone to The Shop just before closing time early on May 4 to have a drink, and outside the bar, Colleen LePage got into an argument with Jennifer Young, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Northwest District Court. During the argument, Crites stepped in and told Colleen LePage not to disrespect his family.

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Motorcycle group member arrested for assaulting hotel security guard

WILLISTON, N.D. - Williston police say a man wanted on a warrant for assaulting a hotel security guard has been arrested.

Law enforcement say 52-year-old Michael McCreary was arrested Friday afternoon after being charged with aggravated assault.

Police say on the evening of April 6, a motorcycle club was having a party at a Williston hotel when a security guard intervened in a fight between two members of the group.

Court documents show the security guard was pushed, surrounded by a group of men and told to stay out.

That's when police say McCreary used a foot-long metal flashlight to hit the security guard in the head, causing a large bleeding wound to the security guard's forehead.

Officers say McCreary ran from the scene.

McCreary is in the Williams County jail, his bond has not yet been set.

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OMG: Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs

(video)---FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - Ronnie Schneider knows bikes and bikers. Not only does he manage the motorcycle dealership Wheels, he's also been riding for 30 years. Schneider says most riders just enjoy the companionship and being out in nature.

"I just like getting out there with my friends on the open road, experiencing the different areas, driving through lakes country - just kind of freedom," Schneider says.

Unfortunately, that isn't the case for everyone. Fargo Police say criminal biker gangs are here, and the warmer weather is drawing them out.

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Fargo Police keep close watch on biker gangs

 (video)--FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) You may have noticed more motorcycles on the road recently. Many of them are heading to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, which is going on right now.

While most bikers are simply motorcycle enthusiasts, there is a small percentage that Fargo Police officers say they are keeping a close eye on.

Fargo Police Lt. Shannon Ruziska leads the anti-gang unit in the F-M area. He says there is always more activity among bike gangs around the Sturgis rally time, but officers say they are aware of the problems they can bring to town.