SAN FRANCISCO — Federal prosecutors in San Francisco have charged eleven members of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang with running a criminal organization responsible for multiple robberies and assaults and one murder.
The federal racketeering charges include related counts of murder, maiming, home invasion robbery, extortion and witness tampering. Four of the defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit murder for a 2014 slaying at a Hells Angels clubhouse in Fresno.
The indictments come two days after series of raids throughout northern California and Boston.
On Saturday, federal, state and local law enforcement raided the Wagon Wheel Saloon in Santa Rosa, Calif., as well as a home in the city's Bellevue Ranch neighborhood. The Wagon Wheel was the departure point for a Hells Angels event billed as the "Red and White End of Summer Run," scheduled to take place Saturday.
Six people were arrested at the Wagon Wheel, one person arrested in San Francisco, one in Fresno and another person in Boston, First Assistant U.S. Attorney Alex Tse said at a press conference Monday. Most of the defendants are members of the group's Sonoma County chapter in northern California.
Members of the Hells Angels Sonoma chapter are accused of committing violent acts to maintain and enhance membership and discipline, including against its own members, reports CBS San Francisco.
FBI Special Agent-In-Charge Jack Bennett said the arrests and indictments were the culmination of a three-year investigation. Bennet said officers raided 13 different locations, seizing weapons, drugs, motorcycles, and blood-stained garments which would be tested for DNA matches.
"The organized criminal activity was designed to instill fear in the parts of Santa Rosa that are around the motorcycle gangs," said Bennett. "The victims have lost their lives, their property, and the neighbors, their sense of safety."
Bennett said the weapons seized included "everything from handguns to shoulder-fired weapons."