LOS ANGELES (CN) – Federal authorities Friday arrested several transnational motorcycle gang members and charged them in a federal indictment alleging racketeering, murder, robbery, kidnapping and other charges.
The 12-count indictment returned by a grand jury in Las Vegas names 23 bikers from California and Nevada. Law enforcement arrested and charged gang members Friday in stings in Southern California, Nevada and Hawaii.
The defendants are part of the Vagos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang, which has about 75 chapters in the United States and members across seven countries and four continents, the government says.
The indictment charges Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez, who uses the alias “Romeo,” in the September 2011 murder of a rival Hells Angels gang member at the Nugget Hotel and Casino in Sparks, Nevada.
Christopher Hicks, district attorney for Washoe County, Nevada, said the murder was part of a wider conspiracy.
“Prosecuting Gonzalez for his actions has been a priority for my office. As such, we welcomed the opportunity to work closely with federal authorities in this RICO investigation that not only seeks to hold Gonzales accountable but the entire involved Vagos criminal enterprise,” Hicks said in a statement.
The Vagos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang is a hierarchical criminal enterprise known for showing disdain for authority and societal norms. The gang uses threats, intimidation, and harassment to prevent victims from testifying or contacting law enforcement, the Justice Department said in a news release.