Biker News & Biker Lifestyle Hells Angels Motorcycle Club News

Officials said the Hells Angels was one of the motorcycle clubs involved but in massive raid. The U.S. Department of Justice considers the Hells Angels an outlaw motorcycle gang.

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By Tom McGhee and Sam Tabachnik

Federal agents executed 19 search warrants and arrested 12 people across the Front Range early Thursday morning in an operation involving at least two motorcycle gangs.

Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said in an afternoon news conference that she expects to file organized crime charges under the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act, but she and other officials declined to offer further details about the charges.

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“They are very serious cases,” McCann said.

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David Booth, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Special Agent in Charge, said the investigation began in June, turning into a case that became “a lot bigger than we thought.”

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Booth called the raid successful, but noted that there “still some outstanding people.”

One suspect in Jefferson County was injured when the Jefferson County sheriff’s SWAT unit shot him with a projectile intended to blow open a door, sheriff’s spokesman Mike Taplin said. The suspect was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Officials said the Hells Angels was one of the motorcycle clubs involved but declined to name any other groups. The U.S. Department of Justice considers the Hells Angels an outlaw motorcycle gang.

Greg Cohen, who lives in a Highlands apartment building across the street from the Hells Angels clubhouse in the 3200 block of Navajo Street, said he awoke just after 4 a.m. to what sounded like explosions in the street below.

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“It was apocalyptic,” Cohen said, describing the flash bangs. He crawled onto his balcony, watching as a host of federal agents toting large weapons crowded outside the Hells Angels clubhouse. ATF agents yelled into a loudspeaker for residents to stay inside their homes.

Neighbors described the motorcycle members as decent guys who never caused trouble.

“They just go about their business and nobody bothers them,” Cohen said.

Around the same time, Chris Darrow and his wife were startled awake by bangs outside their Arvada home.

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Darrow jumped out of bed to see flashing blue-and-red lights and federal agents in windbreakers rushing into the home across the street where several bikers lived.

“I wasn’t quite sure what it was at first, but then I realized, ‘Oh, our neighbors just got raided,’ Darrow said.


Thursday morning’s raids weren’t the first time federal and local law enforcement have targeted the Hells Angels.

A Denver police raid on a Hells Angels clubhouse in 2001 resulted in trouble for the city.

Police believed the bikers were engaged in illegal activity.

Ten members of the motorcycle club and the owner of the building filed suit in federal court, alleging that the search was illegal, according a previous reports in The Denver Post.  The city settled the suit in 2003, paying the club $50,000. Gerry Whitman, who was then Denver police chief, wrote a letter of apology.

Three motorcyclists were shot as they rode down a freeway in Carson early according to California Highway Patrol.

Denver Civil Rights lawyer David Lane was the attorney for the club.

“Hopefully, this will send a message to the Denver Police Department that they can’t stereotype people,” Lane said at the time. “If these Hells Angels are committing crimes, go get ’em. If they’re not, they have a right to associate with whoever they want to associate with.”

Booth said that Thursday’s raid was not related to the 2001 case.

The city was forced to apologize to the Hells Angels a second time in 2008 after settling a 2005 lawsuit over a traffic stop. Denver and Mountain View police held eight bikers at automatic rifle-point for more than an hour without probable cause. The two cities agreed to pay the bikers $14,000 and to write letters of apology.

http://www.canoncitydailyrecord.com

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7 comments

  1. ??? date’s year. ?
    Who authorized you to put this up are you digging s*** up from the past you .what the f*** is your motive putting all this s*** up like that.

    Like

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