Michael Edward Ottinger, Jr., a former Sergeant at Arms for the San Diego charter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Marilyn L. Huff in San Diego to serve 262 months in prison and five years of supervised release for conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Ottinger pled guilty to the charge on June 4.
Ottinger was the lead defendant in successive federal indictments that accused 36 members and alleged associates of the motorcycle club in San Diego County of selling drugs. Ottinger was arrested in December 2010. Most of the other defendants in the federal case were arrested and the Hells Angels San Diego clubhouse was searched on September 29, 2011.
Mostly Sealed Case
The initial indictment culminated a year-long investigation of the San Diego club that included more than 6,000 recorded telephone conversations and extensive video surveillance. At Ottinger’s sentencing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew G. Schopler, told the court that Ottinger was the “highest-value target” in the investigation.
Ottinger, who is now 43, had faced a mandatory sentence of life in prison as a “career criminal.” He has seven prior convictions for false imprisonment, a firearms violation, auto theft, evading an officer while driving recklessly, and three drug related convictions.
Most of the “public” record concerning Ottinger’s role in the multi-defendant case is sealed including his plea agreement, the government’s sentencing recommendations and his attorney’s objections to those sentencing recommendations. Ottinger’s image is also sealed by court order. In a status hearing held last May 25, Schopler and Ottinger’s lawyer, Robert A. Garcia cited “security concerns” as the reason for the secrecy. Ottinger is now in the San Diego Central jail.
Ottinger faces additional state charges in San Diego Superior Court for murder, attempted murder, mayhem, assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, and criminal threats. He is accused of the murder of Fernando Fernandez in March 2010.
Fernandez, of Chula Vista, was a member of the Dago chapter of the Mongols Motorcycle Club. Fernandez was on a date with his girlfriend when the couple became involved in a dispute with two men at a bar in the North Park area of San Diego north of the San Diego Zoo. The couple left the bar about midnight and rode to Los Panchos Taco Shop at 409 Washington Street in Hillcrest. The two men in the bar followed the couple and tried to continue the argument with Fernandez’ girlfriend at the Taco Shop. When Fernandez confronted the men he was stabbed in the chest, head and neck.
A video recording of that assault appears to have been part of the sealed record in the federal case. Ottinger is also charged with the January 2010 stabbing of Jesus Morales. He will be tried on the state charges next year.