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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, February 14, 2022

Vice President of Modesto Hells Angels Motorcycle Club Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison for Drug Trafficking Charges

FRESNO, Calif. —Michael Shafer, 34, of Modesto, was sentenced Friday to five years in prison for conspiring to distribute and possess with intent to distribute heroin and conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute marijuana, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, Shafer was the vice president of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in Modesto in 2019. As part of a years-long investigation into the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, investigators obtained a court-authorized wiretap for Shafer’s phone. The wiretapped calls and messages showed that Shafer was conspiring to distribute marijuana and heroin. Specifically, in April 2019, Shafer conspired with a former Hells Angels member who was incarcerated in Pleasant Valley State Prison to smuggle heroin into prison.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the Modesto Police Department, the Turlock Police Department, the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and the California Highway Patrol. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ross Pearson and Laurel Montoya prosecuted the case.

This effort is part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces (OCDETF) operation. OCDETF identifies, disrupts, and dismantles the highest-level criminal organizations that threaten the United States using a prosecutor-led, intelligence-driven, multi-agency approach. Additional information about the OCDETF Program can be found at www.justice.gov/OCDETF.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN) Program, the centerpiece of the Department of Justice’s violent crime reduction efforts. PSN is an evidence-based program proven to be effective at reducing violent crime. Through PSN, a broad spectrum of stakeholders work together to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in the community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them. As part of this strategy, PSN focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime.

Topic(s): 
Project Safe Neighborhoods
Updated February 14, 2022