Seven Hells Angels Busted in Felony Assault Roundup Could Be Charged as Gang Members Thanks to Recent Court Ruling
Department of Public Safety officers, in collaboration with several other law enforcement agencies, carried out one of the final stages of "Operation Quiet Riot" last night, arresting seven members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club for a series of violent assaults in Northern Arizona bars.
"Quiet Riot" was a six-month investigation into an ongoing feud between the Hells Angels, the Desert Roadriders, and a rival motorcycle gang in northwest Arizona, in what DPS official are calling "a struggle for power."
DPS officials say there have been several violent assaults at several bars near Bullhead City and Lake Havasu and that warrants were served to seven members of the gang.
In photos released by DPS, it appears as though the state police squad called in the SWAT team to bust up one of these guys' trailers, and rightly so -- in case you hadn't heard, the Hells Angels are now officially a dangerous "street gang."
Back in September, in a classic Andy Thomas "send-a-message" moment, a judge ruled that the Angels were no longer just an unorganized group of low-lifes with motorcycles but in fact an organized criminal enterprise and subject to state gang laws.
The ruling set the legal precedent that allows law enforcement to more aggressively pursue and prosecute members of the gang, and it seems this will be one of the first cases where the state fuzz will flex its new-found gang-busting muscle.
According to DPS officials, the charges against the seven members arrested are for felony rioting, but search warrants will be executed relating to charges of taking part in a criminal street gang.
As stated in a previous post, it should be noted that the Hells Angels are quite possibly the only tough-guy "street gang" with its own Web site. Judging by the looks of some of these guys, we're shocked they can even use a computer.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.