- Created on Friday, 08 August 2014 21:37
- Written by IVN
Sacramento, California - Members and associates of the Vagos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang have been indicted today for drug trafficking offenses in an ongoing FBI probe, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
The first indictment charges James Cline, 43, of Rio Linda; Leonard Walter, 37, of Sacramento; Michael Wright, 45, of Sacramento, with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and distribution of methamphetamine.
Three separate indictments charge Sacramento residents Richard Cardenas, 49; Quentin Stallings, 35; and David Homan, 50, with distribution of methamphetamine.
According to court documents, this investigation targeted three Sacramento-area chapters of the Vagos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang (OMG). The Vagos are a motorcycle club that began in the late 1960s in California that has since evolved into one of the largest OMGs in the Western United States. They have nearly 600 members in 24 chapters located in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah. They also have chapters in Mexico. The gang uses an organized hierarchy that includes a national president, vice president, sergeant at arms, secretary, and treasurer. The regional chapters also have the same structure in place as the national chapter. The chapters report to the national leadership and have mandated meetings and events and monthly dues.
This investigation confirmed that the Sacramento-area Vagos are involved in illegal activities. Such activities include distributing methamphetamine, purchasing illegal weapons, and handling stolen motorcycles. During this investigation, FBI used confidential sources and undercover agents to make multiple purchases of methamphetamine from Vagos members and their associates in the Sacramento area. The FBI investigation is ongoing even after this initial phase of charges.
This case was the product of an investigation by the FBI, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the West Sacramento Police Department, Placer County Sheriff’s Office, and the Sacramento Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Jason Hitt is prosecuting the case.
Defendants Cline, Walter, Wright, and Cardenas were each ordered detained during earlier court hearings. Defendants Stallings and Homan are considered fugitives.
If convicted, Cline, Walter, and Wright face a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison and a $10 million fine. If convicted, Cardenas, Stallings, and Homan each face a mandatory minimum of five years in prison and a maximum of 40 years in prison with a fine of up to $5 million. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.