FIVE HELLS ANGELS MOTORCYCLE GANG MEMBERS AND ASSOCIATES CHARGED WITH FEDERAL RACKETEERING OFFENSES
Three defendants tied to the murder of Snohomish County man in 2001
A federal grand jury in Seattle has indicted five members, former members, or associates of the Hells Angels Motorcycle club for racketeering crimes and related offenses. Four Hells Angels members or former members were indicted for operating a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization - RICO. The racketeering acts alleged in the indictment include murder, robbery, extortion, and trafficking in stolen and VIN-switched motorcycles.
According to the indictment, which was unsealed today, four of the defendants are current or former members of the Washington Nomads Chapter of the Hells Angels, which has its clubhouse in Spokane, Washington. RICHARD ALLEN FABEL, a/k/a Smilin Rick, 48, of Spokane, is President of the Hells Angels Chapter. FABEL is charged with directing other gang members to engage in criminal activities including murder, attempted murder, intimidation, extortion, robbery, and trafficking in stolen motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts.
In addition to FABEL, the others indicted include RODNEY LEE ROLLNESS, 45, of Snohomish, Washington, JOSHUA BINDER, 30, of North Bend, Washington, RICKY JENKS, 28, of Spokane, Washington, and PAUL FOSTER, 49, of Arlington, Washington.
ROLLNESS and BINDER are former members of the Washington Nomads Hells Angels who, the indictment alleges, left the Hells Angels in 2003. They are charged with RICO offenses and two counts of Violent Crime in Aid of Racketeering (VICAR) for the murder of 47-year-old Michael Eugene Walsh (aka “Santa”) in Arlington, Washington, on July 21, 2001. Murder in furtherance of Racketeering carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment or a possible death sentence. ROLLNESS and BINDER are also charged with Interfering with Commerce by Threats or Violence for the January, 2004 attempted robbery of a Monroe resident. ROLLNESS is also charged with two counts of Witness Tampering for using fear and intimidation to silence the alleged victim of that offense.
RICKY JENKS is a current member of the Hells Angels who is charged with the racketeering offenses of robbery and extortion.
PAUL FOSTER is a former associate of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. He is charged with being an accessory after the fact for assisting ROLLNESS and BINDER in covering up the Walsh murder. Walsh was last seen at a party at FOSTER’s Arlington home in July 2001.
FABEL and JENKS were arrested in Spokane. They will make initial appearances at 2:00 p.m. in the Eastern District of Washington, and then will be transferred to the Western District of Washington. BINDER and ROLLNESS will make their initial appearances in U.S. District Court in Seattle at 2:30 this afternoon. FOSTER will make his initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Seattle on the afternoon of Wednesday, February 15.
Today’s charges are the culmination of an extensive investigation by the Monroe Police Department, Washington State Patrol, Snohomish County Sheriff’s Cold Case Homicide Squad, the FBI and ATF. Key information was provided to the Monroe Police Department in early 2004 regarding the involvement of Hells Angels in trafficking stolen motorcycles and parts, and the use of violence and intimidation to further that trafficking. The Monroe Police Department, the Washington State Patrol, and the FBI launched a joint investigation into these activities. This investigation eventually led to an investigation into the Walsh murder. The Snohomish County Sheriff’s Cold Case Homicide Squad assisted in the murder investigation and assisted in developing evidence used to support the murder charges against ROLLNESS and BINDER and the accessory charge against FOSTER.
Both FABEL and JENKS have also been indicted in U.S. District Court in Nevada, for their involvement in a fight and shootout between the Hells Angels and Mongols motorcycle gangs in Laughlin, Nevada, on April 27, 2002. That incident resulted in three deaths. Both FABEL and JENKS were released on bond in that case and their trials are pending.
An indictment contains allegations that have not yet been proven at trial beyond a reasonable doubt.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Mike Lang and Bruce Miyake. For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attrorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.