Several members of the Vagos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, including its leader and his predecessor, were arrested during raids throughout California, Nevada and Hawaii.
Federal agents made the 22 busts early Friday morning, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Among those taken into custody were Bradley Michael Campos, 50; John Joseph Siemer, 60; Pastor Fausto Palafox, 53; Albert Lopez, 39; Andrew Eloy Lozano, 42; James Patrick Gillespie, 68; John Chrispin Juarez, 69; Paul Jeffrey Voll, 52; and Albert Benjamin Perez, 57.
According to an unsealed grand jury indictment, 23 members – one died before Friday’s arrests – have been accused of a number of crimes including murder, kidnapping, using and carrying a firearm to commit a violent crime, conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and conspiracy to commit racketeering.
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The Mercury News reports that five of the members – Siemer, Gillespie, Juarez, Lopez and Voll – allegedly issued orders to kill rival gang members and lower-ranking Vagos members who violated their rules.
Lozano and Perez, two sergeant-at-arms arrested during the raids, were accused of carrying out orders from senior Vagos members.
“The rule of law dealt a serious blow to the Vagos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, a so-called ‘brotherhood’ responsible for drug addiction, death and mayhem,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Blanco in a news release. “Today’s coordinated takedown of this biker organization’s leadership is a victory for all of us who respect and love our country.”
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