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Entire Hells Angels chapter arrested on kidnapping, robbery, assault and other violent charges

The motorcycle club is considered an organized crime syndicate by the U.S. Department of Justice and other agencies.
Hells Angels
Posted at 7:50 PM, Jun 26, 2024

An entire chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club has been arrested on various violent charges including kidnapping, first-degree robbery and assault with a firearm, California authorities said Tuesday.

Six members of the Bakersfield unit, including its president and vice president, were arrested and a seventh was already in custody as a result of a joint investigation by Kern County Sheriff's Office, California Highway Patrol and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Those arrested ranged in age from 31 to 57 years old, KCSO said. Five were members of the Bakersfield Hells Angels club, while two were members of the Sons of Hell Motorcycle Club, which KCSO says is a sub-affiliate that takes "orders and direction" from the former.

Items seized from Hells Angels members' homes are shown.
Items seized from Hells Angels members' homes are shown.

Each suspect was booked into the Kern County Sheriff’s Office Lerdo Facility on charges of kidnapping, first-degree robbery, assault with a firearm, criminal threats, false imprisonment, participation in a criminal street gang, criminal conspiracy, intimidating a witness or victim and elder abuse.

Eight search warrants were executed at various Bakersfield locations in addition to the arrests.

In photos posted to Facebook, Kern County Sheriff's Office showed more than 150 items law enforcement personnel seized as part of the probe. This included 25 firearms, ammunition, multiple high-capacity magazines and gang affiliate paraphernalia, KCSO said. Other photos showed street signs, leather and denim vests, hats, a blanket, posters and more, all showing the "Hells Angels" moniker or symbolism.

Items seized from Hells Angels members' homes are shown.
Items seized from Hells Angels members' homes are shown.

KCSO said the investigation is ongoing, and charges are being referred to the Kern County District Attorney's Office.

Hells Angels is believed to have begun post-World War II somewhere in California, with some stating it began in Fontana while others say San Bernardino. Each charter operates independently, but multiple U.S. government groups identify the organization as an organized crime motorcycle gang, with operations including extortion, drug dealing and weapons trafficking.

The U.S. Department of Justice says Hells Angels is one of multiple outlaw motorcycle gangs posing a "serious national domestic threat" due to drug trafficking and smuggling crimes.