Friday, September 25, 2009

Hells Angels Fallout Begins

After a three month investigation, and just over a week after getting a jury designation of being a street gang, the Phoenix Swat Team busted a suspected chop shop here in North Phoenix. Four of the six arrested are suspected of being associated with the Hells Angels. Of course every media outlet was on hand to record the big moment.

Those arrested were charged with owning or operating a chop shop, participating in a criminal street gang and possession of marijuana among other things.

It was reported that Phoenix PD seized multiple items of evidence at the scene that included jackets and patches associated with the Angels, major components from different motorcycles, altered VIN numbers, four ounces of marijuana as well as a shotgun and two handguns.

Curious timing for the bust to wait until a week after finally finding a jury to name the Angels a street gang. I would also suspect unless these fellas have criminal backgrounds one shotgun and two handguns aren't against any law that I know of. Stealing and chopping bikes ain't cool, but it is only alleged and still needs to be proven. I'll post updates as this travels through the system.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Arizona Labels Angels Through Backdoor

The following as it was reported by ABC15.com staff here in the Phoenix area.

PHOENIX – For the first time in Arizona, a jury has labeled the Hells Angels a criminal street gang when they convicted a gang member in an assault case at a Scottsdale bar, officials say.

County Attorney Andrew Thomas made the announcement Wednesday, after a Maricopa County Superior Court jury handed down the verdict in the trial of Nathaniel Sample on September 15.

Sample was convicted of aggravated assault and of acting for the benefit of a criminal street gang, both felony charges.

Jurors were specifically asked by prosecutors to find that Sample's actions were in furtherance of the Hells Angels as a criminal street gang.

For the first time ever in Arizona, jurors did just that.

Officials say this is a significant development, as the Hells Angels are known for fighting allegations against the group labeling them a criminal street gang.

According to investigators, Sample severely beat a man on March 28, 2008 after he accidentally bumped into a member of the Hells Angels at the Billet Bar in Scottsdale.

The victim was kicked and punched as he lay on the ground and some witnesses reported they saw the victim being struck in the head with a beer bottle.

The fight ended when a woman threw herself on top of the victim screaming for the beating to stop.

Sample will be sentenced on November 2.

Thomas said about the case, "This verdict sends a message to all street gangs that their acts of violence and terror will not be tolerated."