A man believed to have headed the local chapter of a motorcycle gang has been sentenced to probation for his role in a firearms deal with undercover federal agents.
Steven Jay Silva, 53, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Medford Wednesday morning to five years of probation for his role in buying illicit firearms from undercover Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents last summer. The guns included a sawed-off shotgun and a silencer Silva believed to be unmarked and unregistered.
Silva, who police believe was president of the Southern Oregon chapter of the Mongols outlaw motorcycle gang during the summer of 2017, bought six guns, including the sawed-off shotgun, Aug. 14 of last year.
In September 2017, Silva reportedly coordinated a drug and gun buy with undercover agents, which reportedly included 400 OxyContin pills, 90 Vicodin pills, three revolvers and a silencer for which Silva paid $2,050.
A search warrant executed at his home in the 1000 block of Edwina Avenue yielded multiple photos and memorabilia related to his motorcycle gang membership, including his “cut” or vest.
ATF agents say Silva’s patches show him to be “one of the founding Mongols of the Southern Oregon chapter,” before delineating other patches related to the roughly 600-member gang headquartered in central California, which has rivalries with the Hells Angels, the Outlaws and the Sons of Silence, according to ATF agents.
Silva’s “Respect Few, Fear None” patch is typically earned when someone engages in violence on behalf of the gang; and the wing patches on his vest “are earned when someone engages in various sex acts with a woman in front of other Mongol members.”
Silva professes to have resigned from the gang since he was charged last year. In court filings, his public defender, Brian Butler, argued that Silva has completed drug treatment, maintained full-time employment and has complied with terms of his pretrial release.
A man who police allege to be a senior member of the Mongrel Mob gang, has pleaded guilty to possessing nearly $70,000 of unlawfully obtained cash and a trafficable quantity of methylamphetamine with intent to sell or supply.
Grantito Eduard Chacone, 36, appeared in the Mandurah Magistrates Court on Friday, via video link from Hakea Prison.
Police prosecutor Nev Palmer told the court $69,100 worth of cash was found in the man’s Halls Head property on August 22, 2018, but did not specify the amount of drugs.
In a police statement released in August, the Gang Crime Squad said about 380 grams of methylamphetamine was found during a raid.
Chacone’s lawyer Trent Petherick told the court his client had no psychiatric issues.
Magistrate Anne Longden ordered a pre-sentence report and remanded Chacone to appear in the Perth District Court, on November 16, 2018, for sentencing.
Hells Angels gather for Saskatoon chapter’s 20th anniversary
‘We do have an operational plan in place,’ for gathering, says Saskatoon police chief.
Members of the Hells Angels are set to gather in Saskatoon this weekend.
The gathering is part of plans to celebrate of the 20th anniversary of the club’s Saskatoon chapter.
The Saskatoon Police Service said in a statement that the public can expect to see an increase in the presence of Hells Angels and their associates over the next few days.
Saskatoon police Chief Troy Cooper says that officers are well prepared for the occasion.
“We do have an operational plan in place,” said Cooper.
“We know that there’s going to be an influx of Hells Angels in the community and so we have additional officers on staff just to make sure that everyone that’s involved in the event is safe.”
Preparations ‘over-policing’: lawyer
Brian Pfefferle, a criminal lawyer from Saskatoon who represents the Saskatoon chapter of the Angels, says increased policing around the biker gathering is unnecessary.
“The club has taken the view that any resources directed toward policing the club are wasted resources,” Pfefferle said Friday.
“From their perspective, it’s the equivalent of trying to over-police a hockey tournament or something.”
Pfefferele emphasizes that if there is a spike in arrests over the weekend, it’s unlikely to be because of Hells Angels members.
“There might be some arrests but I don’t expect that they’ll have anything to do with visitors coming in … to celebrate the anniversary,” Pfefferle said.
Overall, he believes that Saskatoon residents have very little to worry about when it comes to the Hells Angels and public safety.
“I fully expect, as always, that members of the club and their friends will be on their best behaviour in the city and [I] hope that people will be safe.”