The ghostly federal propaganda war against the Vagos Motorcycle Club manifested as a press conference yesterday. The presser was the alleged climax of four-year-long investigation of the Vagos. The investigation’s funny name was Operation Pure Luck because it anybody actually is convicted as a result of all this it will be pure luck.
Bragging it up at a podium were United States Attorney for the District of Nevada U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden, Clark County District Attorney Steve Wolfson and Joseph Riehl who is the Special Agent in Charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives field office in San Francisco.
The officials announced that 31 people associated in some way with members of the Vagos, Green Machine, Wicked Riderz and Bandidos Motorcycle Clubs had been charged in a hodgepodge of mostly unconnected federal and state cases. At least one member of the Chosen Few Motorcycle Club, a black club, was also arrested. Defendants were arrested in seven states. A Las Vegas Metro Police spokesman named Bill Cassell said there were arrests in Nevada, California, Utah, Arizona, Texas, New York and Hawaii.
Many Stealth Defendants
There were 25 actual arrests yesterday but only seven suspects were named. Those suspects were Donald Dussell, Victor Ramirez and Edward Chelby of Hawaii and Chard Kruger, George Ward, Steven Shaw and Michael Hughes of Nevada. The charges against the named suspects appear to be related to insurance fraud and the harsh expulsion of former members of some motorcycle club. The obvious state cases carry Nevada Gang Enhancement allegations.
Since yesterday’s press conference was about not much, the officials who spoke at it were unusually sophistical and vague. “Numerous undercover operatives and confidential informants infiltrated multiple groups on multiple occasions,” Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Assistant Sheriff Greg McCurdy said. “Those groups were the Vagos, the Wicked Riderz, the Green Machine, the Bandidos and the Chosen Few…. We’ve had a lot of different incidents where these outlaw motorcycle gangs have wreaked havoc in our neighborhoods. So when this opportunity presented itself we decided to move forward.”
Fox News is calling Operation Pure Luck a “real life Sons of Anarchy bust.” The cable news network also described the operation as a “huge success.”
More than 200 police participated in yesterday’s raids in Nevada. Officials at the press conference claimed that 43 guns, more than seven pounds of methamphetamine, almost six ounces of cocaine, 2,000 prescription pills and $8,100 were seized during those raids.
Two Federal Cases
Only one of the defendants named yesterday is involved in a federal case. Michael Hughes and Todd Wigner have been indicted for distribution of hydrocodone in a federal case called U.S. versus Hughes et al.
Six more men have been indicted in a federal case titled U.S. versus Kane et al. Those men are Robert “BK” Kane, William “East Coast Billy” Congero, Steven “Big Steve” Carr, Robert “Mayhem” Coleman, eric Panter and Thomas “Tommy Mac” McNamara.
Those men are accused of attempting “to obtain property consisting of $5,000.00 in U.S. Currency belonging to the victim, an individual identified as L.T., a former member of the Vagos Motorcycle Club, with his consent, by means of actual and threatened force, physical violence, and fear of injury, to wit: the defendants physical attacked or assisted in the physical attack of L.T., the theft of his Harley Davidson motorcycle and personal effects, and the attempted burglary of his home….”
That incident appears to have occurred on June 17th, 2009.