Vagos Raids Summary

October 6, 2011

All Posts, News

Five hundred state, local and federal police officers participated in a series of raids in San Bernardino, Imperial, Riverside, Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and Santa Barbara counties in Southern California this morning on residences and other locations associated with members of the Vagos Motorcycle Club.

The raids culminated what authorities described as an 18 month long investigation of club members that is now called “Operation Simple Green.” The Aging Rebel believes the investigation has been going on for at least two years and has included extensive electronic surveillance.

Police served 52 search warrants including warrants for Vagos clubhouses in Riverside County and North Hollywood and a storefront on Lankershim Boulevard in the San Fernando Valley. According to police, 200 firearms and 100 additional weapons including a grenade launcher and an anti-tank rocket were seized. Police claimed to have also seized more than 200 pounds of drugs during the course of Operation Simple Green.

Police also served 12 arrest warrants. At least nine Vagos were taken into custody. News sources reported that Vagos Motorcycle Club President Pastor Palafox was still at large and attempting to negotiate a dignified surrender.

California Department of Justice Special Agent Andy Spillman told the Los Angeles Times, “It’s going to be a tremendous blow, because we’re targeting their (the Vagos) top leaders.”


According to a press release issued by California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, “Seventy special agents from the California Department of Justice, along with law enforcement from 42 allied local and federal agencies, executed…warrants and arrested subjects for crimes ranging from murder, assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy, rape and narcotic related crimes.”

“The California Department of Justice led the investigation,” the release continued, “with support from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the San Bernardino County Sherriff’s Department, the San Bernardino County District Attorney, San Bernardino Police Department, Riverside Police Department, and Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.”

Multiple sources over an extended period of time have identified the Bureau Of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as an active participant in both an ongoing investigation of the Vagos and in this morning’s raids. The ATF has conducted numerous investigations of motorcycle clubs in the last 15 years including two investigations of the Vagos. Those two previous, acknowledged investigations included the participation of well-known, Los Angeles based ATF agents. The exploits of those agents have been chronicled in at least five well-selling books. Two of those books were authored by ATF agents. No explanation has been offered for the lack of credit given the ATF in Operation Simple Green.

Harris’ release characterized the Vagos as “a transnational gang operating in the United States, Mexico, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and Puerto Rico.”

Californians Safer

“Our Department of Justice agents lead California’s efforts to combat gang violence,” said Attorney General Harris (in her press release). “Their expertise and ability to coordinate large-scale operations targeting the most organized and lethal gangs cannot be replicated. There is significant evidence that outlaw motorcycle gangs, like the ones whose member we arrested today, regularly perpetrate serious, violent crimes. Today’s action will make Californians safer.”

“This outlaw biker gang has been terrorizing our community for years and what happened today is another huge step in the war on gangs I declared in 2005,” said San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael A. Ramos (in the same press release). “This task force is a clear example of how a cooperative team approach can be effective in making our citizens safe. I want to thank California Attorney General Kamala Harris for her continued support and the hard work of her special agents in the Department of Justice for being such a key part of this team.”

The Los Angeles Times reported that “The state Department of Justice launched Operation Simple Green in 2010 to dismantle the Vagos’ extensive narcotics and money-laundering operations, which included the wholesale distribution of cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana.”

Among other atrocities, authorities have accused “four, fully patched Vagos” with gang raping a women at a bar called the Starting Gate in Los Alamitos last March. The victim of that attack has not been identified and police speculated that she has been intimidated by the Vagos into silence.



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17 Responses to “Vagos Raids Summary”

  1. VAGOHULK Says:

    During the search of my home in December they found an item they listed on my reciept as a truama plate . Not a bullet proof vest or body armor. What they believed to be a truama plate, no carrier or vest. 34,000 dollars in cash was also siezed. Still wrapped in bands from the bank. The bank where I cashed a life insurance check. The cash was returned to me by January after providing all my bank records and copies of the check. They failed to mention this fact in the tally sheet given to the press.


  2. Not Surprised Says:


    Good to see you.

  3. Goldsboro Williams Says:

    Not Surprised,

    Who was raped? Why, its simple: The taxpayer.

  4. Shyster Says:

    WTF! Possessing a bulletproof vest promotes, furthers, and enhances the Vagos Motorcycle Club?! Damn these pigs are reaching. The Club should have seen the signs of a pending investigation when Mr. Gibson and Mr. Lozano were raided months ago and the body armor AND LESS THAN AN OUNCE of weed were recovered and NO charges were lodged then. So the pigs had a wire tap in place for about 2 years huh …

    Damn I gotta bite my tongue here. Stupid fucken pigs. I got you mf’ers. I got you.


  5. AVAGOVFFV Says:

    Below is the current charges against our Brother Andrew Eloy Lozano basically it’s a felon in possession of body armor charge. At this time his bail is set at four hundred and fifty thousand dollars! Ridiculous! Once again an abuse of positional authority and over zealous prosecution.

    Also below you will see where the courts have ruled that PC12370(a) is poorly written as well illegal because it doesn’t inform the felon of what type of armor specifically he’s not allowed to possess. As the cops raided his home they knew it was a weak charge because this was a possession allegation from December of 2010 and had time to review what I found in ten minutes of researching.

    My hopes are this will be enough to get his case tossed out due to the ineptness of the shit bags that facilitated this failure.

    VFFV LVDV Viva Los Vagos

    1 PC 12370(A) F POSSESS/ETC BODY ARMOR 12/22/2010 ACTIVE
    Other Charges
    Count Charge Severity Description Violation Date Plea Status
    999 PC 186.30(A) Z REGISTER AS GANG MEMBER 12/22/2010
    999 PC 1170.12(A)-(D) Z ALLEGED PRIOR/STRIKE 12/22/2010
    999 PC 1170.12(A)-(D) Z ALLEGED PRIOR/STRIKE 12/22/2010


    3777 North Harbor Boulevard
    Fullerton, CA 92835
    Telephone: (714) 446 1400 Fax: (714) 446 1448 ** e-mail: [email protected]
    Visit our Web Site: http://WWW.JONES-MAYER.COM


    December 23, 2009

    On December 17, 2009, in the case of People v. Saleem, 2009 Cal App LEXIS 2011, in a 2-1 vote, the California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, held that Penal Code sec. 12370 was “void for vagueness because it failed to provide fair notice to defendant that his vest was illegal.” P.C. sec. 12370(a) states, in part, that “Any person who has been convicted of a violent felony, … who purchases, owns, or possesses body armor, … is guilty of a felony ….”

    The defendant was on parole for voluntary manslaughter and, after being stopped for a traffic offense, he was observed wearing a protective vest with a label indicating that it was body armor for ground troops. He was arrested and prosecuted for violating P.C. 12370.

    Challenges to the Statute

    Since Penal Code sec. 12370 incorporated the definition of body armor contained in Sec. 941 of the California Code of Regulations, and which states, in part, that “body armor means those parts of a complete armor that provide ballistic resistance to the penetration of the test ammunition for which a complete armor is certified …,” Saleem argued that section 12370 required proof that the vest had been certified as body armor.

    The court disagreed with that argument, stating that, “(w)e reject this claim because the plain meaning [of the statute] is that the proscribed vest need not have been previously certified in order for its possession to violate section 12370. Rather, the statute prohibits the possession of a body vest that meets the certification requirements set forth in the Regulations.” At trial, the prosecution produced an expert who testified that the vest worn by Saleem met the definition of body armor.

    However, Saleem’s second challenge to the statute was that it was “void for vagueness,” since it was unclear what constituted body armor. The court held that a law is “void for vagueness” when it fails “to give a person of ordinary intelligence a reasonable opportunity to know what is prohibited ….” (apparently, the label stating it was body armor was insufficient).

    The court also ruled that “section 12370 must be construed to contain a knowledge element ….” In other words, “the defendant must know that he or she is actually in possession of the allegedly prohibited item,” and that “the defendant must know, or reasonably should have known, the characteristics of the item possessed that make it illegal.”

    The court concluded that, based on the language of the statute, the legislative history, and California decisions construing the statutory language, “as judged by each one of these three factors, section 12370 is manifestly void for vagueness.”

    Dissenting Opinion

    The dissenting judge, Richard D. Aldrich, citing to numerous cases, argued that the statute was clear and understandable. “Void for vagueness simply means that criminal responsibility should not attach where one could not reasonably understand that his contemplated conduct is proscribed.”

    Judge Aldrich stated that, “I do not believe the majority’s concern that felons will be unable to distinguish between permissible and impermissible body armor is warranted.” He goes on to note that the state must prove, at trial, that the armor worn by the felon meets the mandated standard or it would be precluded from securing a conviction.

    Furthermore, he said, “I see no reason to assume that the Legislature intended that a defendant’s knowledge of the technical specifications of his or her body armor is an element of Penal Code section 12370.” Judge Aldrich further stated that “it is enough that a violent felon knows he or she possesses a bulletproof vest or body armor, as those terms are popularly understood ….”


    In 1998, Penal Code section 12370 was passed and was designed, according to legislative intent, to “stop the threat of violent felons who are able to thwart police officers by wearing body armor, potentially injuring or killing innocent officers or civilians in the process.” Unfortunately, as a result of the Court of Appeal’s decision in the Saleem case, that law is now unenforceable. Until there is a legislative remedy, or the court’s decision is stayed, felons can now purchase body armor legally.

    This appears to be the type of court decision which calls for all good people to join together in an attempt to right a wrong. Law enforcement labor and management should move forward swiftly in an effort to prevent this decision from creating even greater danger for law enforcement personnel than already exists.

    It would be most appropriate for the Attorney General to take immediate action to petition the California Supreme Court for review and to urge the Court to stay the lower court’s decision, even if the Supreme Court needs time to decide on whether or not to accept the case. At the same time, there may be legislative action which could be taken to “fix the problem” identified by the Court of Appeal.
    As always, if you wish to discuss this matter in greater detail, please feel free to contact me at (714) 446 – 1400 or via e-mail at [email protected].

  6. Shyster Says:

    One Good Leo:

    If you truly are a Department of Corrections officer then you have my respect as a member of the defense bar here in California. A bailiff friend of mine (Los Angeles County Sheriff’s) assures me that 80% of LEO’s are corrupt. I think the number is a tad bit higher but I may be wrong. Either way, I digress. Take care.


  7. One Good LEO Says:

    I for sure will get some shit over this But I dont care.. I turly Work in a LEO spot. I have been on the Job for 11 years working in a Prison
    I have been on several runs with Vagos Members They have been some of the best people I have ever met treated me like I was a family member.
    I never seen one even come close to an infraction of a Law let alone commit a crime. I even had a chance to see a Vago bump a guy in a bar the guy gave the Vago member a dirty look the Vago member came back a few mins later with a beer and said sorry bro have a good one…” Ya Real fucken Bad guys”. You look and some of this bullshit that these guys have been charged with. somethink like 52 warrents and they come up with chargeing the P with theft of a Motorcycle come on man that is the best they can do. It Sucks because alot of LEO’s feel the same way. Like saying all Cops are Bad I knew most on this web Site will Say yes but just know Some of us Think this is Bullshit And Truly Respect all Clubs.

  8. AVAGOVFFV Says:


    Here is the current charges against one of our family members.

    VC 10851. (a) Any person who drives or takes a vehicle not his or her own, without the consent of the owner thereof, and with intent either to permanently or temporarily deprive the owner thereof of his or her title to or possession of the vehicle, whether with or without intent to steal the vehicle, or any person who is a party or an accessory to or an accomplice in the driving or unauthorized taking or stealing, is guilty of a public offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year or in the state prison or by a fine of not more than five thousand dollars ($5,000), or by both the fine and imprisonment.

    The bail for this case is set at $250,000.00 any other time it would be about a $15.000.00 bail at the most and not include a gang enhancement under penal code section 186.22.

    So explain to me why we as motorcycle CLUB members not afforded the same rights as everyone else in California when it comes to unreasonable bail and due process. Again a fine example of the un – justice system that can manipulated by the judges, prosecutors and weasel law enforcers.

    VFFV LVDV Viva Los Vagos

  9. rollinnorth Says:

    It’s all about headlines and TV “news” coverage so they can suck more life out of taxpayers and campaign donors. They’re on a power trip and freedom loving people are to be considered dangerous.
    Thanks, Rebel. Stay strong.

  10. chevyweight Says:

    wouldn’t you say that the fact that they only charged ten people out of hundreds just goes to prove the point that the vagos are not a criminal orginization ? and keep in mind it’s ten people “charged” which does not mean guilty or even convicted.. i read that someone was charged with having body armor, which is quite the insignificant crime, if you even want to consider that a crime,, so that means that after their big undercover sting they have absolutly nothin on 98% of the club ? i’ve never heard of any “gang” that 98% of the members don’t break the law – at least a couple times a week… the rico act is f*kkin twisted – thanks to all mc’s and rebel for keepin up the good fight, kill the oppressor.

  11. rollinnorth Says:

    Round up the usual suspects; figure out what to charge them with later.

  12. grd22 Says:

    remember riverside ca,nothing like putting the carrage in front of the horse “again”.

  13. sherides Says:

    I’m not sure if there is a secret to posting links, but here goes.

    From the Victor Valley Daily Press and the AP:

  14. rollinnorth Says:

    How many murders, robberies, burglaries, arsons, kidnappings and (actual) rapes were occurring while 500 LEO were on these raids? ATF had plenty to do with all this, just not in press releases. Attorney General Harris wants Jerry Brown’s job and San Bernardino County DA Ramos wants Harris’ job. I’ve seen it many times where state and locals nab headlines for arrests and then dump the whole thing on the Feds to prosecute.
    No one is safer when any local,state or federal LEOs are allowed to violate our rights.

  15. Not Surprised Says:

    One thing in particular really disturbs me in this summary: the inclusion of an alleged rape which is stated as hapenning SEVEN months ago. Also, Apparenlty there is no indentified victim either. But by God we know 4 full patched Vagos raped her.

    If there was a rape the victim has been done a grave injustice by having the investigation “shelved” for 7 months. We all know the average length of one of these “investigations ranges from 2-4 years before they launch one of their high profile massive raids, but I find it laughable that an alleged rape is mentioned and then the public is called on to idenitfy THE VICTIM????

    A full 7 months after the fact. Not very good police work if you ask me and were I a LEO, I would be embarassed to basically state “we know there was a rape but we don’t know who was raped”.

    I mean I think it is fairly safe to assume that all chance of any evidence is uhm gone by now and if anyone was going to step up, they would likely have done it long before now. I mean unless it is possible to be gang rpaed and not know it.

    Also, there was no ATF in the San Diego 81 arrests. I am betting after Gunrunner there aren’t a lot of agencies lining up to work with ATF.

  16. @nonymous Says:

    Couldnt have said it better myself. Perfect post.
    VFFV LVDV 22

  17. AVAGOVFFV Says:


    Think about this, a series of raids that amounted to ten arrests with a couple pending. What dent do the local Attorney General, dumb ass Ramos and the DOJ really think they accomplished today? News worthy? Not even slightly it’s just great hyperbole.

    I shouldn’t talk numbers but it’s not a secret that we have several hundred members just in California, of those we have many with great leadership skills. We also have a Constitution and Bylaws the feds and local leo’s have read numerous times so they know this is a feeble attempt to disrupt because of the incident in Sparks Nevada and that we are not scathed in anyway by the actions taken.

    Rest assured there were plans and provisions in place in the event of the leadership of the Vagos MC becoming a target of radical law enforcement or other outside forces.

    So does anyone truly believe that The Vagos Motorcycle Club is damaged in anyway? Don’t, they did this in the late eighties then in 98, 2000, 2002 then again in 2006, 2008 and 2010. Damn I wish I had a nickel for every dollar of wasted tax payer funded budgetary discretion of these agencies during this time I would not have to work a job all week.

    Quite possibly inconvenienced yes but not crippled by any means. So no one including our enemies should be under false assumptions that we can’t and won’t continue on just like we do each time the overreaching law enforcers raid our families homes.

    More to come I’m sure


    Viva Los Vagos

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