Last Charges Against Horry Angels Dropped

August 16, 2014

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After 28 months a court clown named Scott R. Hixson, whose official title is Chief Deputy Solicitor for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit of South Carolina, has dropped 107 criminal charges brought against members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in Horry County and Myrtle Beach.

The charges resulted from a criminal investigation called “Operation Red Harvest” which began in 2010 and was intended to punish its victims for the non-crime of belonging to a motorcycle club. At the self-congratulatory press conference in April 2012, Saundra Rhodes of the Horry County Police Department modestly allowed, “We believe this will have a significant impact on the Hell’s Angels. In my 18 years with the department I’ve never seen a grand jury investigation that netted 226 indictments. This is a pretty big deal.”

The point of the case was always to use the state’s exclusive power to prosecute in order to obviate the basic, ancient and almost universally recognized right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. Greg Hembree, who preceded Hixson as official court clown, said as much when he announced the wildly overblown case that led to raids on 11 locations and charged 34 people with the 226 crimes that ranged from illegal tattooing to lynching. “It’s going to take up a lot of their time and energy and resources to defend these charges,” Hembree bragged.

Credible Evidence

Thirteen months after the press conference court clown in chief Jimmy Richardson, whose official title is Solicitor for the 15th Circuit of South Carolina, dropped more than 100 of the charges. “What we did was we went through…we looked at each charge individually, and the stuff that we couldn’t prove, we dismissed it” Richardson said.

Yesterday, defense attorney John M. Hilliard, III announced that all the remaining charges had finally been dismissed. “These cases represent the entirety of criminal charges lodged by the Horry County Police Department two and a half years ago against members of the local chapter of the motorcycle club,” Hilliard wrote. “All charges were thrown out after prosecutors carefully examined each case against each individual.”

“There was never any credible evidence against any of my clients, a fact that I have repeatedly pointed out to the prosecution since the time of the original arrests,”

Hilliard

Hilliard wrote, “No drugs or other evidence of the commission of crime were found during any of these (April 2012) raids or searches of Hells Angels’ properties. Police officers seized money, clothing and Hells Angels memorabilia, business records, computers and the like during their sweeps nonetheless.”

Property was returned after Hilliard pointed out to the prosecution that valid search warrants limit seizure of property to evidence of criminal activity. “Warrants do not allow law enforcement to go on fishing expeditions to collect trophies,” Hilliard said.

“Hembree was right,” Hilliard continued. “It has taken a lot of time, energy and resources to defend against what have proven to be baseless charges. That was all time, energy and resources that my clients would otherwise have used to pay family bills. This has all been a real financial hardship on everyone who was arrested in this police sweep. My clients were required to pay for surety bonds in excess of $1,000,000.00 in this case.”

Not Criminal Gang

“The Myrtle Beach Chapter of the Hells Angels is not a ‘criminal gang’ by any definition of the word,” Hilliard went on. “It is a motorcycle club, nothing more. Nonetheless, because of these arrests the names of my clients are likely to end up being included on the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division watch list.”

The SLED list stores information about alleged “criminal gangs” on a separate, loosely regulated computer registry. Under existing rules, a naked, unsubstantiated allegation by a law enforcement officer can result in someone’s name being on that list. Hilliard said those files, “are shared with other law enforcement agencies around the State and country and with federal authorities. Among other things, being listed on the ‘criminal gang’ registry can result in a person being put on ‘no fly’ or ‘terrorist watch’ lists circulated by Homeland Security.”

Hilliard said, “Members of the club are now deciding whether to pursue various civil actions because of these arrests, including removal of their names and that of the Myrtle Beach Chapter of Hells Angels from the criminal gang registry.”

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29 Responses to “Last Charges Against Horry Angels Dropped”

  1. tonyg Says:

    Get their oath of office… check for the breaches…. take their bond away from them….
    Then sue them for every infraction….

    I think the money should come right out of their pocket for dumb assidnesses …..

  2. Stevo Says:

    This is a great victory for all clubs if it sets precedent. Congrats to the club involved.

    Stevo

  3. IO Says:

    That is really something amazing to see happen. All 100plus charges just thrown out!

  4. RT Says:

    Just to set the record straight the poster RtC has nothing to due with the former poster RT.

    Thanks RT

  5. popeye Says:

    Phuquehead
    I agree it was put there to prevent a police state and to defend against one.

  6. Meh Says:

    Phuquehed and the Founders agree, and there is ample written material by the Founders to support that.

    As for South Carolina, I bet this doesn’t change anything and that there will be zero career fallout from it.

    It would be a hoot to see a large punitive cash settlement though.

  7. Phuquehed Says:

    @popeye – It was put there so we had a way to defend our lives and homes (castle) and family and friends, *BUT* it was also was put there so we as citizens had a way to fight off or defend ourselves from a government that oversteps its grounds (think police state, etc). It was also put there to give the citizens a way to change a shit government that’s going stupid and isn’t there *for* and *by* the citizens anymore…just in case there were fucktards in the bad government who would actually try to fight back or stomp on the citizens.

  8. popeye Says:

    Those who sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither and lose both.
    Benjamin Franklin

    The 2nd amendment was created so we wouldn’t need police

  9. popeye Says:

    Those who sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither but lose both
    Benjamin Franklin

    We put the second amendment into the constitution so we wouldn’t need police.

  10. BMW Says:

    Congratulations to the 81 on winning this battle! Remember, each battle is won, not only for the defendants, but for the entire biker community.
    L,H&R to all 1% riders!
    BMW

  11. popeye Says:

    @RLG
    Well he is a lawyer and his job is to be around people with criminal history. Statement makes sense in that context

  12. RLG Says:

    Another factoids to add to my list of “fuck, we are doomed”,

    “…it is very rare to deal with five people in a row with no criminal history who are in their forties”

    –from the 2nd youtube linked

  13. ElleElle Says:

    @myself.

    My post was supposed to post to He’s Baa-ack
    Mon, Aug 11, 2014.

    Oh well-as

    The rest must just be a loose nut behind the wheel. I am going to the bar now.

    Regards-

  14. Glenn S. Says:

    Popeye said: “How many times does this same story have to play out before cops stop wasting everyones time”

    According to piggy’s own words, this was not a waste of time. Piggy bragged about the time and energies it would take to defend against these charges. A better question might be, when are they gonna stop the miscarriages of justice? A realistic answer might be: when (white?) people stop quietly putting up with this shit.

    Consider what is going on right now in Ferguson, Missouri. Pigs shot a black kid that was probably unarmed. A whole bunch of times. And the local community said: “We’re not gonna take this shit lying down!” And they were a little bit violent. And the dumbass pigs rolled out the APCs and military weaponry on national TV, posturing like some two bit dictator’s thugs in the third world. And the media was forced to question military-style policing, but only from the racial angle. I’ll bet there will be at least a level of change in excess to what the powers that be want. But only in the black community of Ferguson, Missouri. So I ask myself: Why do white people not similarly force change?

    I hope to see Myrtle Beach 81 on shiny new top-of-the-line bikes, bought from a small portion of the proceeds of a huge settlement or verdict. But fairness and justice are difficult to pull out of the system. The whole legal system is like a football game played on a steep hill, with the home team’s goalposts at the bottom of that hill, the home team getting to change the rules at their whim, and the home team having the power to force others to play their game.

    Still, congratulations to Myrtle Beach 81 for beating trumped up charges that never should have been filed. In a more perfect world, LEO would not have the power to do this kind of shit.

  15. RVN69 Says:

    @Ol’Goat, the problem is that in order to prevail, you have to show not only did they exceed their authority, but that they intentionally did so, and usually the judge, who is part of their team, usually decides that it was an “honest” mistake hence no personal liability. One of the few cases that turned out to the contrary was the Duke University rape case, but those were rich frat boys, not Hells Angels.

    Congratulations to 81 on prevailing in this travesty of justice.

    FTF, FTP, ACAB, FTuo, FTR

    Save the Patch
    Support your Local Red & Black Motorcycle Club
    RVN69

  16. ElleElle Says:

    @“I have done all that I can to seek truth, justice and accountability. I am but one man mostly powerless to force or affect change”.
    Since when did selling out people who should never have trusted you but did-equate to American service?(oh, wait). This newfound and profound sense of entitlement will see its own way to the demise of ones own surroundings. Those brief moments when one has no sense of themselves anymore and decided to become a shell of a man and chose to be something that was not at all sacred to them. All for America’s law enforcement missions? You and anyone else in that situation are getting exactly what they deserve. Risky business equates generally to risky results.
    Gosh- that much should have been picked up somewhere along the very specific and scripted and very fictional stage acting way.

  17. Ol'Goat Says:

    Phonebooth:
    “Officials” are only of immune from personal liability where they act within the confines of the law. if they exceed their authority, the immunity is lost and they can be held personally liable.

  18. Phonebooth Says:

    @SkinnyBill:
    “The solution is to take resulting damages settlements out of their (local and federal) law enforcement budgets. Then they’d be more careful about who they prosecute. That won’t happen, of course.”

    I agree but I would go one better. Why are the officials immune from personal liability?

  19. popeye Says:

    Note to Horry County Harley davidson -Stock up on nice new shiny bikes I predict 34 new sales just around the corner.

    Its insanity by the whole system . A judge had to sign off on the warrents and grand jury had to indict and a DA had to believe he had enough of a solid case to not waste the taxpayers dime. On busts like this theres a lot of planning . These cops really should become fiction novelists with the stories they spin to get their warrents

  20. slapstick Says:

    growing trend in extra judicial punishment.
    been reading about self defense cases and the growing trend of charging a person who is clearly innocent to force them into paying lots of money to defend themselves.
    So my question is..does the judicial system ( both sides defense and prosecution) profit from this?
    And if so how?
    Do courts profit from the taxed money to fund a trial?
    Do defense lawyers profit from charging defendant’s?
    Do defense lawyers drink beer after work and laugh it over with prosecutors?

    Could it be the justice system is a excuse to commit robbery against citizens?
    Oh boy!

  21. DesertH-D Says:

    “… the stuff that we couldn’t prove, we dismissed… “All charges were thrown out after prosecutors carefully examined each case against each individual.””

    So, why were the charges brought in the first place?? They kindly answer that too:

    ““It’s going to take up a lot of their time and energy and resources to defend these charges,” Hembree bragged.” I believe Rebel coined the term, extrajudicial punishment. They straight up state it, and as Rebel says even brag about it!

    Why do they do this? In their self righteous euphoria at “gettin’ ’em”, they assume that the public will be on their side… But they forget that even the public gets pissed over wrongful prosecutions. (persecutions if you will…)

    And they get PARTICULARLY pissed when there is a sizable settlement to be made because of it! Hopefully the 81 will prevail for just such a settlement.

  22. Rusty Says:

    Oh well, I can see my taxes going up. If a law suit is won, I wonder if I can request that my taxes paid be contributed to the settlement?

  23. SkinnyBill Says:

    @popeye – That’s the point. The pigs think they did damage. Even if the 81 wins a $20,000,000 lawsuit after this, the pigs aren’t concerned. The money won’t come out of their budget, it will come out of the taxpayer’s pockets. The pigs will continue to do what they think causes damage.

    The solution is to take resulting damages settlements out of their (local and federal) law enforcement budgets. Then they’d be more careful about who they prosecute. That won’t happen, of course.

  24. RtC Says:

    @ popeye Theres the main word INSANITY to consider. That’s the mind set
    of all pigs. Fed on down. INSANE MOFO’s with GUNS, no less!
    RtC

  25. popeye Says:

    How many times does this same story have to play out before cops stop wasting everyones time. Einstien said the definition of insanity was doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Well the busts do make for good TV around election time. I wonder how much this will cost the south carolina taxpayers when all is said and done. In the long run civil court will do more to put an end to this type harrassment than anything.

  26. Paladin Says:

    “Property was returned after Hilliard pointed out to the prosecution that valid search warrants limit seizure of property to evidence of criminal activity. “Warrants do not allow law enforcement to go on fishing expeditions to collect trophies,” Hilliard said.”

    The above application will also apply to the AOA law suite filed next door.

    Long may You Ride (to those that deserve to),

    Paladin

  27. CN Says:

    I stand corrected. At last there is something good about Myrtle Beach. Hopefully the good citizens of Horry County won’t mind picking up the tab for all this. Good job Rebel.

  28. Dave Says:

    Ha ha ha… Two things I see in this story;

    1) There’s going to be a job vacancy in the DA’s office soon.
    2) There’s going to be some taxpayer’s money paid out as the Angels recoup their losses from the idiots that started this mess.

    Another step in stopping the machine that is the DoJ, et al.

  29. Road Whore Says:

    Congrats, Angels! Now, sue the hell out of the fuckers! Strike back, and keep on striking back!

    Ride Free

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