A number of top members of the Vagos motorcycle gang were arrested over the weekend in spectacular series of police raids across three states.
The men were arrested in multiple states including California, Nevada and Hawaii and are now in custody facing a slew of charges including murder, kidnapping, assault, racketeering and drug trafficking.
In a 45-page indictment, prosecutors explained how the 23 men, all carrying with them nicknames like ‘Tata’, ‘Dragon Man’ and ‘Romeo’ were accountable for ‘drug addiction, death and mayhem’ across five states. The indictment was opened and looked into by the Department of Justice on Friday. There was information on how many of the high-ranking suspects were known as ‘national’ or ‘international officers’ – a title of a top player in the 50-year-old gang’s hierarchy.
A slew of them were marched out of their homes, shirtless and in boxers and handcuffed and made to sit on the sidewalk. all the charges span between 2005 and 2017.
Daily Mail had identified the names of many top members of the motorcycle club:
They are; Pastor Fausto Palafox, aka ‘Tata’, Albert Lopez aka ‘Al’, Albert Benjamin Perez, aka Dragon Man, James Patrick Gillespie, aka Jimbo, Andrew Eloy Lozano, aka Hulk, Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez, aka Romeo, Victor Adam Ramirez, aka Slick, James Walter Henderson aka CJ, Steven Earl Carr, aka Big Steve, Robert Alan Coleman, aka Mayhem, Jeremy John Halgat, aka Maniak, Paul Jeffrey Voll, aka Shyster, John Joseph Siemer, aka Rocky, Bradley Michael Campos, aka Candy Man, Cesar Vaquera Morales, aka C, Diego Chavez Garcia aka Boo, Edward Claridan Chelb, aka Recon, Johnny Russell Neddenriep aka Johnny Bolts, Darin Kieth Grieder, aka Midget, Thomas Granville Garretson, aka Tommy Guns, Bert Wayne Davisson, aka Flash, Matthew Keith Dunlap, aka Big Mat, and John Chrispin Juarez, aka Quicky.
Together, the men, who referred to the operation as a ‘brotherhood’, are accused of ordering the murders of rival gang members and instructing underlings to kill disobedient Vagos motorcyclists.
Some are accused of peddling methamphetamine while others allegedly sold counterfeit goods. One man is alleged to have beaten a female bartender unconscious in one attack. They trafficked stolen guns and cars, talked in code on the phone to evade law enforcement and intimidated anyone who threatened to expose their criminal investigation, prosecutors claim.
In 2011, gang members ordered the death of Hells Angel boss Jeff Pettigrew at the Nugget Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Ernesto Gonzalez, one of those accused in the indictment, was previously charged with the killing Hells Angel boss Jeff Pettigrew at the Nugget Hotel and Casino, but was released on a technicality. As part of their membership, they paid ‘dues’ to a mutual fund that was established by the gang, and would pay for the individuals’ legal costs.
All were expected to wear the gang’s signature pale green colors once they were accepted into the gang.
The bosses gave orders to more junior recruits to do their more criminal activity bidding, according to the indictment. This included giving the ‘green light’ for attacks on rival Hells Angels and an ‘SOS’ which means ‘smash on sight’, a very different meaning form the original.
Daily Mail has the charges:
The charges are; conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise, violent crime in aid of racketeering – murder, using and carrying a firearm to commit murder during and in relation to a crime of violence, kidnapping, assault resulting in serious bodily injury, conspiracy to possess with intent to deliver a controlled substance, using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence, taking of a motor vehicle and aiding and abetting.