Members and Associates of Hell's Lovers Motorcycle Club indicted for firearm and drug crimes
DENVER – Late Friday night, January 20, 2012, Special Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), and Deputy U.S. Marshals, working with the Denver Police Department and various local law enforcement agencies, arrested eleven members or associates of the Hell’s Lovers motorcycle club (HLMC) on federal warrants. Another defendant was arrested by the Thornton Police Department on Saturday. Another federal defendant is in the custody of the Colorado Department of Corrections. There are an additional six federal defendants who are fugitives. In November 2011 and January 2012, the U.S. Attorney’s Office obtained two indictments initially filed under seal charging 19 defendants with firearm and drug crimes. Those arrested this weekend will appear in U.S. District Court in Denver Monday afternoon, where each defendant will be advised of the charges pending against him. Detention hearings and arraignment hearings will take place starting January 26, 2012.
According to the two indictments, between January 1, 2005 through September 2011, 16 of the defendants gathered at a drug involved premises, informally known as the Hell’s Lovers Club House, located at different times in Commerce City or Denver, where they used and distributed quantities of cocaine and marijuana.
The first indictment charges 16 defendants with various crimes, including maintaining a drug-involved premises, possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, prohibited person in possession of a firearm, possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking felony, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, conspiracy to distribute cocaine, conspiracy to maintain a drug-involved premises, and aiding and abetting. Agents and officers recovered firearms, approximately $16,500 in cash, and ammunition. A follow-up search warrant at the residence of a HLMC member was executed by agents and officers in Aurora on Saturday.
The second indictment charges 3 defendants with various crimes, including possession of stolen explosive materials, possession of a prohibited weapon, possessing, making and transferring prohibited weapons, possession of body armor by a prohibited person, and aiding and abetting. Agents and officers recovered two flash bang explosive devices stolen from the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, one ballistic vest stolen from the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, one ballistic vest stolen from the DEA, one sawed off shotgun, one pistol, and two rifles, among other things.
The indictments also include asset forfeiture allegations, which state that upon conviction the defendants shall forfeit interest in all property consisting and derived from any proceeds obtained directly or indirectly as a result of the offenses alleged in the indictments.
“Due to the hard and courageous work of ATF and its law enforcement partners, a criminal gang selling drugs and illegally possessing firearms has been taken off the streets, and its members will face serious criminal consequences,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh.
“We know from experience that violence goes hand-in-hand with gangs and drugs,” said Marvin Richardson, Special Agent in Charge of the ATF Denver Field Division. “We will continue to combine our resources with our law enforcement and prosecution partners to identify and remove anyone that uses violent crime to further their criminal activity. Our goal is to make our communities a safer and more secure place to live, and today was another step in that direction.”
Defendants face various penalties – from not more than 20 years in federal prison to not less than 10 years and not more than life in federal prison. They face various penalties from not more than $250,000 to not more than $4,000,000.
This case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), with assistance from the U.S. Marshals Service, the Denver, Aurora, Lakewood, Arvada, and Westminster Police Departments, as well as the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, and the Denver County Sheriff’s Office.
The defendants are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Guy Till. The asset forfeiture allegations are being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tonya Andrews.
The charges in the indictments are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.