News and Press Releases

BANDIDOS PRESIDENT SENTENCED TO PRISON FOR RACKETEERING
Must Move from Whatcom County for Three Years

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 6, 2006

GEORGE WEGERS, 53, of Bellingham, Washington, was sentenced today to 20 months in prison, three years of supervised release and $10,000 fine for RICO Conspiracy (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization). Under terms of the plea agreement entered into on May 5, 2006, WEGERS must move out of, and refrain from working in, Whatcom County, Washington, during his three year term of supervised release. At sentencing, U.S. District Judge John C. Coughenour noted that he was considering the interests of the Bellingham community in imposing the prison term, fine, and supervised release conditions.

WEGERS was indicted in June 2005, following a two year investigation into a pattern of criminal activity by the motorcycle club. As President of the Bandidos, WEGERS sanctioned and approved many of the criminal acts of club members. In his plea agreement WEGERS admits he encouraged his co-defendants to commit the crimes of witness tampering and motor vehicle trafficking. In April of 2006, WEGERS instructed Bandido members not to talk to federal investigators about a kidnaping incident in May 2003. In all, 18 defendants have pleaded guilty in connection with the Bandidos criminal activity. Sentences have ranged from probation, to 30 months in prison. Glenn Merritt is scheduled to be sentenced October 20, 2006, to a prison term of four to six years.

“People have lived in fear because of the criminal activities of the Bandidos Outlaw Motorcycle Organization. Our communities deserve the continued commitment of law enforcement and the U.S. Attorney's Office, to get violent criminals off the street,” says Special Agent in Charge Kelvin N. Crenshaw, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

This was an Organized Crime and Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) investigation, providing supplemental federal funding to the federal and state agencies involved. The case was investigated by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (ATF), the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office, and the Bellingham Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Ye-Ting Woo, Bruce Miyake, and Todd Greenberg.

For additional information please contact Emily Langlie, Public Affairs Officer for the United States Attorney’s Office, at (206) 553-4110.

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