30 motorcycle gang members facing charges in connection with recent attacks on anti-gang office

RIVERSIDE – At least 30 members of one of California’s most notorious outlaw motorcycle gangs were facing charges today amid a law enforcement crackdown prompted by recent booby-trap attacks on anti-gang officers in Hemet.

Nearly 100 members of the Vagos Motorcycle Club, which prosecutors said started in Riverside County in the 1960s, were targeted in the law enforcement sweep coordinated with Riverside County prosecutors.

”Operation Everywhere” netted 30 arrests of Vagos members on Wednesday in Riverside County, and an unknown number of suspects were taken into custody in other counties and three other states, said Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco.

The county’s top prosecutor said the biker gang’s criminal activities have intensified over the last few months.

”The Vagos gang has gotten our significant attention,” Pacheco said Wednesday.

Pacheco was joined by Hemet police Chief Richard Dana, who described the multi-agency law enforcement sweep as ”sending a message” to the gang members.

In the last two-and-a-half months, officers with the Hemet/San Jacinto Gang Task Force — comprised of sheriff’s deputies, Hemet police officers, investigators from the District Attorney’s Office and other law enforcement officials — have been targeted in three potentially deadly attacks.

On Dec. 31, authorities discovered a natural gas line on the roof of the task force’s headquarters had been redirected into the facility, filling it with gas, which could have caused an explosion.

On Feb. 23, an anti-gang officer was opening a gate at the task force’s office in the 500 block of Saint John Place when he was nearly struck by a bullet discharged by a makeshift firearm triggered when the gate moved.

On March 5, a task force member found an explosive device attached to his unmarked patrol car when he pulled into a gas station in Hemet.

Neither Dana or Pacheco would say Wednesday if the sweep was a direct response to the attacks. But Pacheco emphasized that Vagos bikers pose an ”extreme threat” to public safety officials.

”When you try to kill law enforcement officers in this county, you are going to get a very significant response,” Pacheco said. ”We will not go quietly into the night. We will respond aggressively and forcefully until the

threat is eliminated — not reduced or minimized — eliminated.”

More information about the sweep, which included operations in several California counties as well as Arizona, Nevada and Utah, will be released at a news conference today at Pacheco’s office in Riverside, he said.

Pacheco said the Vagos originated in Riverside County as the ”Psychos” motorcycle club in the 1960s. The gang spread nationwide and now numbers around 600, about half of whom are in California, with a high percentage

concentrated in Norco, Lake Elsinore and portions of eastern Riverside County, he said.

According to the D.A., the Vagos go to great lengths to ”infiltrate” law enforcement, with members applying for clerical positions — even trying to become sworn officers — in order to gather intelligence.

The gang has ties to white supremacists and is notorious for drug trafficking, Pacheco said.

Of the 94 members ”contacted” in Riverside County Wednesday during parole and probation checks, 30 were arrested, mainly for drug and weapons violations, authorities said.

A methamphetamine lab in Lake Elsinore was the biggest find, according to Pacheco.

”This is just the beginning of a larger effort,” he said. ”We’re letting them know we’re here, and we’ll be seeing them again.”


Nearly 100 motorcycle gang members targeted in connection with recent attacks on anti-gang office

RIVERSIDE – Nearly 100 members of the largest outlaw motorcycle

gang in California were targeted today in a law enforcement sweep that

Riverside County prosecutors hinted may be connected to recent booby-trap

attacks on anti-gang officers in Hemet.

”Operation Everywhere” netted 30 arrests of Vagos gang members in

Riverside County, and an unknown number of suspects were taken into custody in

other counties and three other states, said Riverside County District Attorney

Rod Pacheco.

The county’s top prosecutor said the biker gang’s criminal activities

have intensified over the last few months.

”The Vagos gang has gotten our significant attention,” he said.

”Today we delivered the terms of having gotten our attention.”

Pacheco was joined by Hemet police Chief Richard Dana, who described the

multi-agency law enforcement sweep as ”sending a message” to the gang

members.

In the last 2 1/2 months, officers with the Hemet/San Jacinto Gang Task

Force — comprised of sheriff’s deputies, Hemet police officers, investigators

from the District Attorney’s Office and other law enforcement officials — have

been targeted in three potentially deadly attacks.

On Dec. 31, authorities discovered that a natural gas line on the roof

of the task force’s headquarters had been redirected into the facility, filling

it with gas, which could have caused an explosion.

On Feb. 23, an anti-gang officer was opening a gate at the task force’s

office in the 500 block of Saint John Place when he was nearly struck by a

bullet discharged by a makeshift firearm triggered when the gate moved.

On March 5, a task force member found an explosive device attached to

his unmarked patrol car when he pulled into a gas station in Hemet.

Neither Dana or Pacheco would say if today’s sweep was a direct response

to those attacks. But Pacheco emphasized that Vagos bikers pose an ”extreme

threat” to public safety officials.

”When you try to kill law enforcement officers in this county, you are

going to get a very significant response,” he said.

”We will not go quietly into the night. We will respond aggressively

and forcefully until the threat is eliminated — not reduced or minimized —

eliminated,” Pacheco added.

He said more information about the sweep, which included operations in

multiple California counties, as well as Arizona, Nevada and Utah, will be

released at a news conference Thurday at his office.

Pacheco said the Vagos originated in Riverside County as the ”Psychos”

motorcycle club in the 1960s. The gang spread nationwide and now numbers

around 600, about half of whom are in California, with a high percentage

concentrated in Norco, Lake Elsinore and portions of eastern Riverside County,

he said.

According to the D.A., the Vagos go to great lengths to ”infiltrate”

law enforcement, with members applying for clerical positions — even trying to

become sworn officers — in order to gather intelligence.

The gang has ties to white supremacists and is notorious for drug

trafficking, Pacheco said.

Of the 94 members ”contacted” in the county today during parole and

probation checks, 30 were arrested, mainly for drug and weapons violations,

authorities said.

A methamphetamine lab in Lake Elsinore was the biggest find, according

to Pacheco.

”This is just the beginning of a larger effort,” he said. ”We’re

letting them know we’re here, and we’ll be seeing them again.”

4 Responses to "30 motorcycle gang members facing charges in connection with recent attacks on anti-gang office"

  1. observer   March 18, 2010 at 8:02 am

    Interesting because the Mexican Mafia is out there too – seems to me they would include them in their ‘investigations’ for the Mexican Mafia is more notorious for its intimidation tactics than the Vagos.

    Reply
  2. Mike   March 19, 2010 at 7:48 am

    I think they targeted these guy’s because, they probably have reason to believe they were the one’s trying to kill their agents. The Mexican Mob, ia a bit more generalized, and spread out aren’t they?With different affiliates.
    I beleive the term "Mafia" or Mafioso" is only really applied to Italian Mob? Either way, glad to hear they are scraping the scum off the streets!

    Reply
  3. Blue   March 22, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    This is a bad cop not a biker outlaw gang…All attempts resulted in no injuries to law enforcement or property damage. Outlaw bikers are better at killing than this.

    Reply
  4. Murrieta Mike   March 26, 2010 at 8:19 am

    Outlaw Bikers are just as stupid ,if not more stupid than the Mexican Mob!! If they wanted to stay off the radar and not get busted they shouldn’t have gone after cops. Cops can be just as ruthless and vindivtive as anyone else if you mess with them. And let’s face it! They have the intelligence and superior firepower. Any rogue street gang or motorcycle "club" will only go down faster if they target law enforcement. And, that’s a no brainer!

    Reply

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