News and Press Releases

Federal Racketeering Charges Brought Against 42 Members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club

December 4, 2003

Las Vegas, Nev. -  Forty-two members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (HAMC) have been indicted in the United States District Court in Las Vegas on federal racketeering and firearms charges stemming from the violent confrontation between HAMC and Mongols motorcycle club members at Harrah's Casino in Laughlin, Nevada, on April 27, 2002. Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, announces that on Tuesday, December 2, 2003, the United States Grand Jury returned an 11-count Indictment against 42 defendants. Each defendant is charged with 10 counts of Violence in Aid of Racketeering and one count of Using and Carrying Firearms During and In Relation to Crimes of Violence. The Indictment remained sealed by the Court until this morning to permit agents to execute arrest warrants for the defendants in Nevada, California, Arizona, Washington, and Alaska. Agents also executed search warrants at the residences of each defendant and at Hell's Angel's Clubhouses in Nevada, California, Alaska, Washington, and Arizona. As of yesterday evening, 33 of the 42 defendants had been arrested without incident. Arrest warrants for the remaining nine defendants remain active. Items seized in the searches included numerous firearms, methamphetamine, bulletproof vests and stolen vehicles. The defendants will have initial appearance hearings before U.S. Magistrate Judges in the Districts in which they were arrested, and they will then be transferred to the District of Nevada for arraignment and trial.

The Indictment alleges that the defendants were members and associates of the HAMC, which operated throughout the United States and other countries of the world, and whose members engaged in acts of violence, including murder, attempted murder, assault with a dangerous weapon, battery resulting in serious bodily harm, robbery, extortion and narcotics distribution. According to the Indictment, the HAMC maintained "chapters" (clubs) in 23 states and approximately 25 foreign countries. Each chapter typically has elected officers and operates under bylaws which require members to pay dues and attend weekly meetings. It is alleged that the members of the HAMC functioned as a continuing unit for common purposes, which included making money through extortion, robbery, and drug trafficking; protecting the power, territory and profits of the HAMC through intimidation, threats of violence, assaults and murder; promoting and enhancing the reputation of the HAMC; and keeping victims, potential informants, witnesses and the public-at-large in fear of the HAMC through threats of violence.

The Indictment alleges that the HAMC had a long and violent history with the rival motorcycle club, the Mongols, and that prior to the April 2002 Laughlin, Nevada incident, violent encounters had occurred between the two groups in San Diego and Modesto, California, and Reno, Nevada.
The Indictment alleges that from April 25 through April 28, 2002, the 20th Annual Laughlin River Run was held in Laughlin, Nevada. More than 60,000 people attended the event, including members of the HAMC and the Mongols. On April 26, 2002, several minor arguments and assaults occurred between members of the HAMC and Mongols in Laughlin. At approximately 2:16 a.m. on April 27, 2002, several "groups"of HAMC members who were staying at the Flamingo Hotel and Casino in Laughlin, traveled on their motorcycles to a bar located in Harrah's Casino in Laughlin. The HAMC members and associates were carrying guns, knives, hammers and wrenches in their hands or under their clothing. When the HAMC members arrived in the bar area, they were approached by Mongols members. Shortly thereafter, an HAMC member kicked one of the Mongols members, and other HAMC members and associates then assaulted Mongols with dangerous weapons, including firearms, knives, hammers and wrenches, and sought to murder or seriously injure Mongols members. The alleged assaults that occurred in the bar area at Harrah's and specified in the Indictment, include the shootings of Richard Nolan, Enrique Munoz, Bengy Leyva, Davey Camargo, and Mel Ramirez; and the stabbings of Raymond Santos and Roger Pinney.

Each assault charge carries either a five or 20-year maximum statutory penalty of imprisonment, and the firearms charge carries a minimum mandatory statutory penalty of 10 years in prison, to be served consecutively to all other counts (See Attachment B).

This case is being investigated by Special Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and Detectives with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Eric Johnson and Andrew Duncan.

The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.



U.S. v. Charles Acosta, et al. 

Defendant Number & Name Age Residence Custody Status
1. Charles Acosta 28 Stockton, CA Warrant Pending
2. Robert Anello 49 Petaluma, CA Arrested
3. Ron Arnone 39 Tacoma, WA Arrested
4. Matthew Carlock 29 San Pablo, CA Warrant Pending
5. Jeffrey Carney 42 Kirkland, WA Arrested
6. Matt Comach 38 Novato, CA Arrested
7. Rodney Cox 41 Phoenix, AZ Arrested
8. Frederick Donahue 38 Rodeo, CA Warrant Pending
9. Steve Eades 39 Marinez, CA Arrested
10. Montgomery David Elliott 50 Anchorage, AK Arrested
11. Maurice Eunice 52 Lakeside, CA Arrested
12. Raymond Foakes 40 Petaluma, CA Arrested
13. Shawn Frazer 33 Pinole, CA Arrested
14. James Hannigan 36 Mountain View, CA Arrested
15. Justin Harrah 33 Watsonville, CA Arrested
16. Keith Hixon 29 Auburn, CA Arrested
17. Wayne Hodges 52 San Francisco, CA Arrested
18. Eiland Hogan 22 Roseville, CA Warrant Pending
19. Michael Hurn 53 Anchorage, AK Arrested
20. Charlie Hyde 49 Simi Valley, CA Arrested
21. Ricky Jenks 26 Already in Washington State Custody
22. Patrick Kalabolas 55 Las Vegas, NV Warrant Pending
23. Edward Laigo 55 Atwater, CA Arrested
24. Daniel LaJocies 40 Modesto, CA Warrant Pending
25. Dale Leedom 41 Two Rivers, AK Arrested
26. Jesse Mahon 24 Carmichael, CA Warrant Pending
27. Jorrg Maykopf   Germany Warrant Pending
28. Michael Mills 45 Wenatchee, WA Arrested
29. Jeff Morales 45 Corona, CA Arrested
30. Steven Pearce 49 Silverdale, WA Arrested
31. Sohn Regas 36 Reno, NV Arrested, Released
32. Daniel Roay 45 San Pablo, CA Warrant Pending
33. Calvin Schaefer 34 Chandler, AZ Arrested
34. Donald Smith 53 Bullhead, AZ Arrested
35. Michael Smullen 46 Pinole, CA Arrested
36. William Spearman 61 Anchorage, AK Arrested
37. David Steely 36 Concord, CA Arrested
38. George Walters 47 Kingman, AZ Arrested
39. John Ward 42 Phoenix, AZ Arrested
40. Brian Wendt 26 Tulare, CA Arrested
41. Brian Wolff 40 Spokane, WA Arrested
42. Jeff Zarate 52 Los Angeles, CA Arrested

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