Operation Quiet Acquittal

April 13, 2012

All Posts, News

Four of seven men who were arrested in December 2009 in a roundup that Arizona law enforcement officials branded “Operation Quiet Riot” were acquitted yesterday in Kingman, Arizona.

The four men were Gerald Roy Smith, Dale Leroy Hormuth, Stephen Michael Helland, and Rudolfo John “Rudy” Martinez. All four were accused of rioting and assisting a criminal street gang. Two additional men, James Troy “Stoney” Snider and Clifford Daniel “Dan Da Man” Balentine are scheduled for trial on the same charges May 1. The seventh desperado, George Edward “Joby” Walters pled guilty to the charges last summer and was sentenced to 30 months in prison.

The Riot

The “riot” was a fight June 11, 2009 at Lazy Harry’s Sunshine Saloon (in video below) in Bullhead City, Arizona. Bullhead City faces Laughlin, Nevada across the Colorado River. Police stated that five Hells Angels ( Smith, Hormuth, Helland, Martinez and Walters) and two members of the Desert Road Riders Motorcycle Club (Snider and Balentine) attacked two members of the Vagos Motorcycle Club. The fight ended quickly and did no damage to the bar. No one was arrested until “Quiet Riot.” Reportedly, the fight started when Hells Angels approached the two Vagos, politely asked them to leave and the Vagos courteously declined.

At the time of those arrests a police spokesman named Ernie Severson said the fight had put the general public “at risk.” “Two females climbed over a railing and contemplated jumping down 20 to 30 feet to get away, if that tells you what it was like,” Severson elaborated.

The fight precipitated a six month long crackdown on bikers in Mohave County, Arizona. Members of a State Gang Task Force called G.II.T.E.M. (for Arizona Gang and Immigration Intelligence Team Enforcement Mission) mercilessly persecuted every biker they could find for minor and sometimes entirely imaginary offenses. During the two season long crackdown police harassed members of both the Patriot Guard and HOG for wearing “colors.” A Kingman police spokesman named Bob Fisk told the Kingman Daily Miner “that bikers aren’t particularly a problem in Kingman, but he’s worried that if police aren’t on top of the situation, the problems with riders in Bullhead City could spread to Kingman.” The “problems” he meant was the brief fist fight between grown men at Lazy Harry’s.


The trial took three weeks. Jeff James, one of the defense lawyers, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that the men might have been convicted if the charges had been disorderly conduct. “I just thought it was never a riot,” James told the paper. “It was an altercation between a couple of people in a bar that just happened to have Hells Angels cuts on with other motorcycle gang members, but it just wasn’t a riot.”

Defense attorney Christian Ackerley said, “It’s been my belief all along, and I said this during my closing argument, that I believe the reason this case was prosecuted was because of the result of pressure put on the county attorney’s office by law enforcement. They have an agenda, and that agenda is against the Hells Angels.”


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7 Responses to “Operation Quiet Acquittal”

  1. mo co ryder Says:

    This upset so many lives and put them on hold over nothing, flash bang and familys in jail over Christmas for a Leo agenda! That was nothing! Gitums strong hand, should be get us! bless all that have gone thru this B.S.

  2. Austin Says:

    From the Phoenix New Times. Is there more to the story?

    “The operation was a six-month investigation into an ongoing feud between the Hells Angels, the Desert Roadriders, and their mutual rival Vagos in northwestern Arizona, in what DPS officials called “a struggle for power.”

    The four Hells Angels found not guilty were accused in an assault on Vagos members at Lazy Harry’s bar in Bullhead City.

    On the other hand, several members of Vagos were arrested by a DPS task force in February after allegedly beating up a guy at Lazy Harry’s.”

  3. Shyster Says:

    The D.A. (dipshit attorney) overcharged the case. Nothing more and nothing less. Inciting a riot means some fucker gets on top of a table and shouts “let’s all get them” and several actually obey the command. Jeff James was right in saying had the DA simply charged disorderly then the two word verdicts may not have been heard. The DA was swinging for a home run and struck out. It happens.


  4. Glenn S. Says:

    Generally, Lawyer: “I can get you off with 3 (or 5 or 10 or…) years if you plead. (Maybe probation if your not already a convicted felon so they can take your guns away). If you want to fight it, I’m with you. Here’s what its gonna cost, and I have a real estate agent I work with that’ll help you sell your house.”

    Or, if you’re in jail and using the public defender: “Ready to plead guilty yet? Tired of sitting in this shithole county jail, where they have you in the hole because 20 years ago, you punched a cop? Well, I can get you in a courtroom tomnorrow if you’ll plead, and you’ll go to the penitentiary where its much better in days. Or you can wait another two years for a jury trial.”

    Until recently, you could smoke in the SC Department of Corrections but not in the Greenville County Detention Center. They actually had the judges hold court in the drunk tanks and announced over the PA that anybody that wanted to plead guilty could do so, and would be sent to state R&E the very next day. You could get a guarenteed actual bed to sleep on (consent decree was in effect for state prisons), cigarettes, and marginally better food if you’d give up your rights. And the judges usually didn’t sentence you to the max, so as to not discourage volunteers for this drunk tank justice. Otherwise, a year in county minimum. Some people took the deal.

  5. Hose-a 1% Says:

    It seems George Walters did what most do when you have a ton of charges.The idea of facing multiple years and high legal fees usually comes with a plea agreement.It’s good to see some stand and fight the legal extortion of the feds.A jury that actually saw threw the bullshit kuddos.
    Hose-a 1% er Pagan’s M.C. retired

  6. Goldsboro Williams Says:

    Outstanding. Lots of bar fights happen with LEO’s, and they are never charged with any ‘riot’ statute. Glad the jury saw this for what it was.

  7. RVN69 Says:

    Huh, imagine that, an actual act of justice by a jury.

    I imagine George Walters is reconsidering his decision now.

    Potius Mori Quam Foedare.

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