GIITEM, which is an acronym for the Arizona “Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission,” arrested ten members of the Vagos Motorcycle Club Leap Day morning. The official announcement of the arrests states 11 Vagos were arrested.
According to GIITEM (pronounced Git‘em) spokesman Bart Graves, “The arrests culminated an eight-month investigation into the resurgence of violent crimes related to the Vagos Motorcycle Gang in the Bullhead City area.” Graves calls the arrests “Operation Catch 22.”
Lets Talk Absurd
Catch 22 was an absurdist novel by Joseph Heller published in 1961. The title has become a standard term used to describe a logical paradox enforced by ridiculous rules. Graves seems to have heard of the term, also knows that that the letter V, as in Vago, is the 22nd letter of the alphabet and understands that all biker roundups must have a snappy name.
Graves release explains: “There have been several incidents where Vago members and their followers have been involved in violent encounters involving patrons of local bars. The latest incident occurred December 23rd, 2011, at Lazy Harry’s Lounge in Bullhead City. During this incident, a patron was assaulted, dragged out of the bar, and beaten by several members of the Vagos Motorcycle Gang.”
“This investigation coincided with another investigation into the Lake Havasu chapter of the Vagos Motorcycle gang. It’s alleged that gang members were involved in assaults, witness intimidation, drug sales, motorcycle theft, and possession of stolen property.”
Graves identifies Ryan Welsch, 26, of Lake Havasu, Arizona; and Shawn Patrick Bailey, 36, and Gabriel Nader, 25, of Bullhead City of being charged with Aggravated Assault, Riot and Participating in a Criminal Street Gang.
Bernard Prano, 55 and Paul Anthony Villegas, 41, of Lake Havasu; Peter Velliodis, 39, of Laughlin, Nevada; Robert Wayne Mann, 46, and Robert Kellar, 36 of Bullhead City; and Daniel McDonald, 53, of Fort Mohave, Arizona were all arrested for Theft of Means of Transportation, Participating in a Criminal Street Gang and Possession of a Vehicle with a Defaced Vehicle Identification Number.
Kenneth William Gallego, 35 of Fort Mohave was arrested for Attempted Intimidation of a Witness and Assisting a Criminal Street Gang.
Dale Warren Smith, 52 of Mohave Valley, Arizona was arrested for Mishandling of Explosives.