Another Vagos Case Dismissed

August 25, 2014

All Posts, News

Local, state and federal police forces in the West continue to harass members of the Vagos Motorcycle Club with marginal or unwarranted prosecutions.

The prosecutions, which have popped up over a wide geographic area ranging from California to Kansas, appear to be coordinated. They are obviously being brought as a form of defacto punishment for the non-crime of belonging to the wrong motorcycle club. The cases have not generally resulted in convictions but they have forced defendants to hire lawyers and defend themselves. Sometimes the prosecutions are unethical.

In the last month, a Las Vegas lawyer named Melanie Hill eviscerated a multi-state, multi-departmental undercover investigation called Operation Pure Luck. In Sacramento, the FBI announced it had brought charges after what seems to have been a years long investigation of Vagos there. And on August 15 a couple of Santa Maria, California lawyers named Mark Powers and Thomas Allen and a Los Angeles lawyer named Jeff Voll won the dismissal of charges against three Vagos in Santa Barbara. Those Vagos were among five people charged 17 months ago with possessing concealed firearms and participating in a criminal street gang while in possession of concealed firearms. Both of those charges carried gang enhancements.

The Santa Barbara Arrests

The arrests were well publicized and allowed news outlets that covered the story to report: “The FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the California Attorney General’s Office have each named the Vagos Motorcycle Club an outlaw motorcycle gang;” and “the Vagos Motorcycle Club, which originated in San Bernardino County in the 1960s, has conducted criminal activity that has included distributing methamphetamine, money laundering, insurance fraud, witness intimidation, murder and extortion.”

On March 15, 2013 a small pack of Vagos from San Luis Obispo County was travelling on California Highway 154 when the riders were stopped by the California Highway Patrol and released. Highway 154 is a picturesque, mountain road that  connects San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara County. The CHP alerted the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office that the pack was headed south. The first Deputy Sheriff to spot the pack radioed his fellow Deputies “Here come the freaks.”

At the junction of Highway 154 and Highway 101, which in Southern California is often called the “Ventura Highway,” the last motorcyclist in the pack ran a red light. When he was stopped the rest of the pack including chase cars pulled over to the right shoulder and waited.

Cop Speak

In a press release issued two days later the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office described the stop like this:

“As a result of routine enforcement and investigation activities, members of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Gang Enforcement Unit arrested five people who are allegedly associated with a local chapter of an outlaw motorcycle gang, based out of San Luis Obispo County. All five individuals were arrested for firearms related charges, in conjunction with criminal street gang enhancements.

“The arrests followed a traffic stop near the intersection of Highway 154 at Highway 101 around 8 p.m. Friday night. The five motorcycle riders were observed traveling together. Members of the Sheriff’s Gang Enforcement Unit conducted a traffic enforcement stop upon observing two of the motorcycle riders fail to stop at a red light.

“During the traffic stop, the three additional motorcycle riders stopped in the middle of the highway, apparently to wait for the members of their group who were subject to the traffic enforcement stop by law enforcement.

“The riders were all wearing insignia related to the Vagos Motorcycle Club, a known Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.”

An Alternative Version

What actually happened was that Deputies searched a chase car, found a baseball bat and used that discovery as justification for searching everyone else who had stopped.

“During the course of the traffic enforcement stop, Detectives from the Gang Enforcement Unit found concealed semi-automatic handguns within the motorcycle saddlebags of the individuals who were contacted,” the Sheriff’s Office press release explained. The arrestees included the president of the Vagos San Luis Obispo chapter and his wife.

However the search was illegal because police had no probable cause to conduct it and none of the Vagos consented to be searched. The police lied about that. The entire stop was videotaped by four police cars. The video ran for 10 minutes and 26 seconds but police erased the 52 seconds that recorded the illegal search. The Deputy District Attorney assigned to the case knew the tape had been erased and that the search was illegal. But he didn’t drop his case until Powers, Allen and Voll confronted him about the tampered evidence.


27 Responses to “Another Vagos Case Dismissed”

  1. Phuquehed Says:

    Glad the Vagos were able to beat that rap and flip the finger at the shit-stain pigs and DA’s that did what they accuse everyone they arrest of actually doing – breaking the law!

    So why wasn’t the deputy DA burned by the judge? If he commited a crime by witholding or hiding evidence, the judge should have jumped his ass and had someone arrest the fucking scumbag. How the fuck does one get to continue to be in such a position when they’re *caught* red-handed doing wrong, which for their job goes completely against the rules of law? Mother fuck why do those fucktards get away with this shit!!

  2. popeye Says:

    Same old song and dance. Arrests with insufficient or fabricated evidence.

  3. Ipsick Says:

    “During the traffic stop, the three additional motorcycle riders stopped in the middle of the highway,”

    Coming down the 154 to the 101, there are two stop lights right there. One crossing Calle Real and the other to either go straight or make a right hand turn onto the 101. If they were stopped for running Calle Real, there is no place to pull over on the overpass. If they were stopped once they got on the 101, there is no way in hell they were “in the middle of the highway.”

    If they were stopped for running Calle Real, the distance from that stop light to the one on the overpass is only about 100 yards with no place to stop, no shoulder of any kind.

    I was just through there on Saturday for a car/bike show in Solvang.

  4. Sin cal Says:

    Ipsick nailed it I grew up in santa maria so those roads are very familiar to me.

  5. Road Whore Says:

    Congratulations, Vagos, on beating this unjust rap!!!

    Ride Free

  6. drops Says:

    Jeff Voll is widely considered the best and most competent criminal defense attorney in the very specific field of cases against outlaw motorcycle clubs.

  7. OC VAGO 1%er Says:

    We all knew it was only a matter of time before the truth finally surfaced.

    Congratulations to my brothers and VOL’s. Great jobs Powers, Allen and Voll !!

    Love & Respect
    Corporate Bob

  8. CN Says:

    Hearty congratulations to the Vagos MC and this group of them in particular. Perhaps the news media might wish to inform the tax payers as to how much of their money was wasted in this less than ethical and illegal act by law enforcement.

  9. One Eye Says:

    As great as it is that these fabricated, inflated charges are beaten, the legal costs have to be staggering. My personal thought is that this is a large part of why it is carried out. I get the feeling the government knows their cases are non-existent, but a protracted court case will cost money, jobs, reputations, families, etc. If the government is wrong John and Jane Q chalk it up to the system failing while innocent people are ruined in these punitive dog and pony shows. There should be a caveat that states if they are going on a witch hunt and it fails as miserably as this, they should have to make reparations and restore, in the press, the names that were sullied with such alacrity. Perhaps I’m the idealist.

  10. RtC Says:

    @ Rebel “SOMETIMES” the prosecutions are unethical? You give the just-us
    system too much credit. Seems it’s more UN than plain ethical these daze. At least this story had a good outcome. It is good to see that
    there are some lawyers that aren’t slime, & work for the good guy!

    @ Phuquehed, they are probably “lunch-time martini buddies”, ya know?!
    BTW Thanks fer postin’ that joke! Woulda took me 30 minutes to type it out!

    @One Eye, THAT is too commonsenseical for it to be a reality. Crooks aren’t going to fine themselves.

    CONGRATS to the VAGOS MC on this. I know it’s a pipe-dream, but hope this starts a trend to stop the BS!

    RESPECTS to the REAL

  11. Nashville Says:

    That is a win for all of us. The Vagos are apparently hooked into good lawyers appearing before good Judges that actually understand and apply the law – fucking rare combination in this “Constitutional Democracy” of ours. Keep it up. Congratulations to you all.

    FTP and FTF

  12. Sieg Says:

    Congrats to the Vagos on beating their case…that never should have been brought. Strictly punishment by indictment. One of these times, this shit will be challenged. In court?


  13. Baddad Says:

    Congrats to the Vagos .
    When will this shit stop already

    Respect to those who earned it

  14. 10Gauge Says:

    Your tax dollars hard at work.Entrapping men who ride motorcycles…many of which have defended this Country of ours in our Armed forces..even the citizens must get tired of reading about this blatant abuse of power and obvious waste of resources. If it wasn’t so costly to fight these charges and the stakes were not so high it would almost be comical. It’s as if the new breed of LEO is testing the same waters their predecessors did…at what fucking cost???

    Stop the insanity

  15. jj solari Says:

    the cops would be better protecting us by learning farsi and sitting in on a few mosque sermons and homilies. they’d find out real quick what “gangs” – other than their own – are the real threat to the taxpayers paying their overblown fucking salaries. and it sure aint the Vagos.

  16. Badger62 Says:

    Growing up and living in Santa Maria for along time I have to say that the Santa Barbara County sheriffs are the worst redneck wannabe cops i have ever run into. The entire department is made up of flunkies who couldnt make it as real cops. had one who lived next door to me for a while and had my OL pulled over as soon as she pulled out of the driveway with the excuse that “she looks like someone who was doing something in the neighborhood”.
    Congrats to the Vagos for this win and exposing the SB Sheriffs for what they are.

  17. DesertH-D Says:

    10Gauge – Didn’t you hear? Motorcycle club members never “served” or “defended” this country. They only joined the military to obtain the advanced military training for the benefit of their “gang”. Just ask Gangland, they’ll tell ya…

    Congrats to the Vagos, I hope those involved have a couple quarters left to rub together after going through the bullshit.

  18. RVN69 Says:

    Congratulations to the Vago’s M/C on their sucessful defense of these bogus charges and police persecution.

    Someone asked how can the pigs and feds continue to get away with this type of criminal activity, well hell that is easy, everyone in the “Just Us” system is on the same side and it ain’t our’s!!
    Pigs, Feds, Persecutors, Judges and a damn lot of Defense Attorney’s are all conspiring to deprive us of our civil liberties. Until the entire system comes down and gets rebuilt ain’t nothing gonna change.


    Save the Patch
    Support your local Red & Black Motorcycle Club

  19. sherides Says:

    Congrats to the Vagos for prevailing.


  20. AVAGOVFFV Says:

    I want to shout out a sincere and humble thank you to all who have sent messages of congratulations and well wishes to my Brothers and my Club on the success of beating these contrived and over prosecuted cases.

    Viva Los Vagos

    Fuck the fbi, atf, dhs, chp and the sbcso.

  21. DesertH-D Says:

    AVAGOVFFV – Absolutely. Best wishes to you and yours.

  22. Panhead Says:

    Well done Vagos!



  23. Glenn S. Says:

    Congratulations on the win. The fact that the law allows this kind of shit speaks volumes about the law.

  24. Paladin Says:

    “The Deputy District Attorney assigned to the case knew the tape had been erased and that the search was illegal. But he didn’t drop his case until Powers, Allen and Voll confronted him about the tampered evidence.”

    Once again we have a an officer of the Court, entrusted with the trust of the public, who can’t be trusted to uphold the laws he swore to uphold.

    Congratulations to the Vagos and their attorneys for wresting the truth from the untruthful.

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


  25. Steel Says:

    I fear for this country in general when those sworn to uphold the law break the law in their zeal to entrap those they despise for whatever reason. In this particular case it was the Vagos that were entrapped, ensnared or whatever else you want to call it in law enforcement’s web of deceit.

    Glad the truth came out and the Vagos case was dropped. Much respect to Vago posting here and to his club. I do enjoy your view on things Vago.

    Much respects to you Rebel for all you do here. Keep up the good fight because it is worth it.

  26. I.E. Bat Says:

    When did possession of a baseball bat become illegal to carry in a car?

  27. Shyster Says:

    I.E. Bat,

    Carrying à baseball bat in à vehicle is not à crime. But look at California Penal code section 22210 which criminalizes carrying any instrument falling under the “catch all” section.

    If one need carry a baseball bat within their car it might be smart to also have the glove, balls and cleats nearby also. A couple of baseball caps and a pre-printed google map of a nearby park just in case one gets lost can’t hurt.


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