The Vegas Vagos Case

October 26, 2017

All Posts, News

The Vegas Vagos Case

Buried in a footnote, at the bottom of the third page of the United States’ eight page “Response to Motion to Reopen” a detention hearing for Vagos Motorcycle Club president Pastor Fausto “Ta Ta” Palafox, is a clue to why the case is being adjudicated in Vegas. The response was filed last June 29. The note reads:

“In August 2010, Homeland Security Investigation (HSI) in Riverside, California began a TIII wiretap investigation targeting the Vagos involving numerous telephones over a nine-month period. Telephones by Defendants Palafox, Lozano, Siemer, Juarez, and others, were intercepted.”

The footnote elaborates the government’s assertion that “The evidence against Palafox includes but is not limited to witness testimony, Title III intercepts,1 and video surveillance.”

Hello Officer

Palafox wasn’t the only guy whose phone was tapped. Two million conversations involving 44,000 people were authorized by a single Riverside County, California judge named Helios Hernandez. Federal investigators usually prefer to have state courts authorize wiretaps because the local judges are less worried about Constitutional technicalities. Federal judges usually view wiretaps as a last resort. The wiretaps authorized by Hernandez remain mostly sealed and the ones pertinent to the Vagos case have not yet been shown to defense attorneys.

The indictment of 23 Vagos was returned by a grand jury on September 6, 2016 but the indictment remained sealed and nobody was arrested until June 16, 2017. The weak and surplusage filled indictment illustrates the power of prosecutors to punish people they don’t like by simply accusing them of being criminals.

Conspiracy To Murder

For example, Palafox is accused of ordering the murder of Jeffrey Pettigrew, president of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club’s San Jose charter, who died in a brawl between the two clubs in John Ascuaga’s Nugget Casino in Sparks, Nevada on September 23, 2011. The accusation was made in a state trial in Reno by an ex-Vago named Gary “Jabbers” Rudnick. Rudnick was the fellow who actually started the fight that led to Pettigrew’s death. He was expelled from the Vagos the next day.

In a signed statement recanting his testimony, Rudnick later wrote:“There was no conspiracy” to kill Pettigrew. “It was just a fight between me and him.” Rudnick wrote that state prosecutor Karl Hall fabricated the conspiracy and offered Rudnick a lighter sentence for his perjury. “He told me … what he wanted me to change to lie for him,” Rudnick wrote. “I was looking at 25 years in prison.”

Answer Is

Many of the accusations in the indictment are based on investigative reports made by a Los Angeles County Sheriff and sometime Tactical Field Officer for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives named Augustino Brancato. In an associated case that was folded into the current indictment, Brancato was caught on tape plotting to lie about a defendant.

After Brad Heath and Brett Kelman of USA Today broke the news about the massive wiretapping expedition in Riverside County in 2015, federal prosecutors in Los Angeles, where most of the accused Vagos live, told federal investigators they would no longer prosecute cases based largely on wiretaps authorized by state court judges.

And that is why the Vagos case is being prosecuted in Las Vegas.


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23 Responses to “The Vegas Vagos Case”

  1. 22troubles Says:

    all my prayers go out to the familys of the accused.i was on the casino floor that night ,i was cuffed for three hours laying face down when they finally got around to us uncuffed me they said the security gaurd shot that h, the gov didnt like that story so they put iton the club…bullshit allways been bullshit

  2. Concerned Citizen Says:

    I have a question. There is a human I guess named allegedly Donnie Howard. He has one eye. An old shotgun wound in his leg from a restaurant shootout. He knows all the vagos stories and recounts them first hand but his name is never mention in any articles nor can I find his picture. He tells if pulling uhauls up to peoples houses who would default on loans. For my own sanity I need this question answered of who this “person” is.

  3. East Coast Says:

    Any updates? Appreciate hearing anything you have heard since this article.

  4. East Coast Says:

    With no case they delay the first hearing for a year, hoping to wait on the first plea from someone who’s life is being ruined by sitting in jail trying to out wait the feds.
    This is the standard practice of trying to force one guy into lying to get out of jail and back to supporting his family.
    The truth will come out before any of these fine men resort to lying and betraying their brothers to minimize their own pain.
    The truth shall set them free.
    Rebel, thanks for keeping this in the light of day.

  5. Bo Says:

    @Neuro thank appreciate it. When I checked back it was gone!?
    My apologies Rebel but still very curious about the situation and sounds like I’m not alone.

  6. A Whiter Shade of Pale Says:

    @Elvis Himselvis The point was I shouldn’t of had to write (or should I say copy and pasted that comment at all) was a big waste of my time and everyone who happened to read it… This particular case is very important to me because of of those men sitting in that federal jail happens to be mine… and I am doing all I know how to bring him home which includes making sure that people don’t forget that they are sitting in there and that the people that are lucky enough to still have their freedom will remember that when they go out wearing their colors they represent the entire club they are also representing those men and the public will form their opinions based on anything someone in green says or does (unfortunately only noticing the bad things) and even though this isn’t the way it should be , the fact is it’s the way it is…[email protected] Cal I have an immense amount of respebct for you and the comment you last made to me…with humility comes wisdom and so I beg to differ about the comment you made about not being intelligent…you are a very intelligent man and I know you will represent the Vagos just as that…you are all fighting the same devil just wearing different colors doing it …be kind to each other and be safe!!!

  7. Neuro Says:

    Hey Bo, it is still right there in the article entitled “Carrizal’s Defense Won Today” Oct.16, 2017. There for all to read.

  8. Rebel Says:

    Dear Bo,

    I didn’t delete anything in the last week. What are you talking about?


  9. Bo Says:

    @Freebird did you notice our little exchange on that ” heads up” matter disappeared from all the comments sections? Things that make you go hum?

  10. Elvis Himselvis Says:

    @whiter shade : we didn’t need you to write a book to let everyone know that acronyms exist. Your explanation was very remedial for this audience, I appreciate your interest in this subject but less is more… free the 22

  11. House 22 Says:

    My Brothers are innocent. I am sick of conspiracy gov. BS! The public may not like “bikers” but ALL need to remeber, we ALL have families too, and have been given a bad name by media and law enforcement outlets . Hopefully the truth the REAL truth will come out.

  12. SoCal Says:

    Whiter Shade… you’re right, Kindness costs nothing, Shake hands and start fresh? You’re wrong about your first impression of me though, I’m definitely not intelligent… FREE THE 22

  13. WhiterShadeofPale Says:

    SoCal maybe you should understand why I put that comment up…it was in response to someone else’s comment about the correct acronym for TFO I put that up to show there is no one definition for TFO, therefore Rebel was not inaccurate. Besides that technicalities are not the focus of this article and I don’t want anyone to lose sight of the matter at hand because “I am emotionally invested”… I was actually very impressed with the information you provided in your first comment and passed the information on because it seems it could be very useful… you came across as very intelligent and I was actually going to make an attempt to contact you because you seemed very knowledgeable…well maybe I won’t be the only one who learned something today….have a good night

    Those who are kind benefit themselves, but the cruel bring ruin on themselves.”
    ‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭11:17‬ ‭NIV‬‬

  14. SoCal Says:

    Here’s a 3 letter acronym for Whiter Shade Of Pale,,, SFC. Stupid Fucking Comment. What a Lame!!

  15. Elvis Himselvis Says:

    Interesting how after the federally coerced witness rescends his b.s. testimony, telling the truth that there was never a conspiracy, basically telling the court that he was coerced into a b.s. narrative for the prosecution or face 25 years for his role in what transpired. Im sure the prosecution promised him a lot in return for his lying testimonial, and when it was all said and done they never delivered what they promised and he feels he sold out and lied on Romeo, when in reality Romeo saved his life. What a thank you and and a smack in the face. So this guy recants his testimony and now telling the truth and destroying his credibility, Romeo gets a re-trial, so instead of giving him a re-trial in this state case, they throw the state case out and now phonily and knowing that their is no conspiracy, they implicate a bunch of VAGOS saying they conspired this and raise it to a federal level and add RICO… THIS WAS HAPPENSTANCE! NONE OF IT WAS PLANNED! AND THE COURTS AND THE GOVERNMENT AGENCIES KNOW IT! THEY KIDNAPPED A BUNCH OF GUYS BECAUSE THEIR WITNESS TOLD THE TRUTH… THEIR TACTICS ARE LYING AND CORRUPT, THEIR MOTIVATION IS TO ELEVATE THEIR CAREERS, AND TAKE AWAY CIVIL RIGHTS! AND VALIDATE AGENCY BUDGETS, THIS KIND OF POWER IN THE HANDS OF CORRUPT POLITICIANS SHOULD NEVER EXIST ! THEYRE RUINING LIVES BECAUSE THEIR LIES DONT HOLD WATER FOR THEIR B.S.AGENDA do your part and vote out these corrupt politicians… next time it could be you or someone you love, Romeo preserved life that day, and if any police officer did what he did in that situation they would’ve given him a medal!

  16. WhiterShadeof Pale Says:

    A good friend reminded me of this poem today:

    First they came for the Communists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Communist
    Then they came for the Socialists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Socialist
    Then they came for the trade unionists
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a trade unionist
    Then they came for the Jews
    And I did not speak out
    Because I was not a Jew
    Then they came for me
    And there was no one left
    To speak out for me

    They start off small or with the ones they believe no one will care about (in this case being the biker community) not realizing it’s not just their rights that have been taken away but its everybody’s rights they have taken…or should I say we gave up because we didn’t care when it wasn’t happening to us!!!

  17. WhiterShadeof Pale Says:

    Actually there are many definitions for the acronym “TFO”
    Temple Fork Outfitters (Dallas, TX)
    Tandem Free Operation
    Triplex Forming Oligonucleotides
    Tactical Flight Officer
    Task Force Officer
    Tactical Field Officer
    Transcoder Free Operation
    Tesi Filosofiche Online
    The Furniture Ombudsman (UK)
    Transport Flow Optimization
    Transactions For Others
    Task Force Olympia (Operation Iraqi Freedom)
    Télévision Francophone en Ontario (French: French-Language Television in Ontario; Ontario, Canada)
    Tenant Fit Out
    Task Force Organization (France)
    Tactical Fiber-Optics
    Totally Freaked Out
    Toll Fraud Operations (Sprint)
    Trauma from Occlusion (dental)
    Tritium/Fiber Optic (gun sight)
    Trouble Free Operation

  18. Elvis Himselvis Says:

    So basically because a federally coerced witness that was threatened by the prosecution lied and said there was a conspiracy when in fact it was a random happenstance event that occurred between him and the deceased, and now just under 2 dozen INNOCENT MEN sit in a federal jail one of which is in his 70’s and runs an N.A. recovery program that deters young people from drugs and alcohol and had zero knowledge of that random happenstance event prior to its unfolding, I CANNOT BELIEVE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WOULD BE SO CORRUPT AS TO INCARCERATE INNOCENT PEOPLE AND MAKE THEM SIT IN PRISON AND THEYRE NOT EVEN CONVICTED OF ANYTHING!!! This is the country we live in guilty until proven innocent and the kicker is…. THE GOVERNMENT KNOWS THE TRUTH!!!

  19. OCDRMR Says:

    That “judge” was a fucking Lame when he worked in the D.A. office and now he’s a fucking Lame on the bench. He’s a crybaby libtard. Fuck him.

  20. SoCal Says:

    Thank you Rebel for bringing this info to light. This BS case was shopped to Los Angeles and Northern Nevada first and declined before being picked up by the So Nevada US attorney. Surely there will be a paper trail that will help in the suppression hearings. Judge Hernandez was rubber stamping so many TIII wire taps he probably has carpal tunnel syndrome… SoCal VFFV

  21. Vintage Says:

    Just a technicality here, but “TFO” does not stand for “Tactical Field Officer” but “Task Force Officer”. The guv’mint do love its TLA’s… (Three-Letter Acronyms).

  22. Freebird Says:

    I would rather take my chances with the KGB!

  23. Iron Rider Says:

    So they move the clown show to Vegas. Well good luck with that the fact that the Judge way overstepped his bounds in okaying these is going to be a huge problem for the prosecution to overcome and the fact that Feds instead of dropping the whole mess are desperate enough to get a win to try and move the cases to Vegas just goes to show the amount of taxpayer dollars the government is willing to spend on cases that shouldn’t be anywhere near a courtroom is limitless.

    Unbelievable after everything that has gone on that the Feds still want to pursue this, well like in Waco, we will see if this Vegas sideshow only gets a one night stand

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