One Case California Police Bust Entire Hells Angels Chapter in Kidnapping, Assault Case

One Case: California Police Bust Entire Hells Angels Chapter in Kidnapping, Assault Case

WFCN – Authorities claimed on Tuesday that the entire Bakersfield, California, chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club had been taken into custody as a part of an investigation into kidnapping, robbery, and assault.

According to a statement from the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, those detained included two members of Sons of Hell, a motorcycle club that reports to the Bakersfield chapter of the Hells Angels, and five active members of the club’s Bakersfield branch.

According to a statement jointly made with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, law enforcement agents recovered 25 firearms, an undefined amount of rounds of ammunition, and gang insignia.

The ATF, the sheriff’s office, and the California Highway Patrol conducted a combined investigation that led to the Tuesday morning arrests. The agencies stated that the inquiry is ongoing.

One Case California Police Bust Entire Hells Angels Chapter in Kidnapping, Assault Case

John Vaughn, 37, one of the seven suspects, was already in detention due to “other charges,” the statement said. According to reports, Bakersfield is home to all of the suspects thus far.

The others arrested were named as Ricardo Alvarez, 42; Armando Villasenor, 55; Joseph Soto Sr., 57; Joseph Soto Jr., 33; Joshua Zavala, 31; and John Seeger, 57.


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The statement said that Seeger and Vaughn were members of Sons of Hell, and that the other members belonged to the Hells Angels’ Bakersfield branch.

They haven’t received official charges yet.

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According to the statement released by police authorities, the charges that resulted in the arrests include elder abuse, kidnapping, robbery, making criminal threats, false imprisonment, assault with a firearm, involvement in a criminal street gang, criminal conspiracy, and intimidating witnesses or victims.

It wasn’t apparent whether the probe originated from a single occurrence or a swarm of incidents. Details cannot yet be disclosed because the investigation is still underway, according to Kern County Sheriff’s spokesman Lori Meza.

It’s unclear if the suspects have legal representation. Requests for comment from the Kern County public defender’s office were not immediately answered.

The Hells Angels are classified by the US Justice Department as an illegal motorcycle gang and criminal business. The group was established in Fontana, California, in the years following World War II.

Members of the group have a colorful past that includes attacks on concertgoers in 1969 in Altamont, California; a love/hate relationship with the late author Hunter S. Thompson; and a tragic confrontation with rival Mongols members in Laughlin, Nevada, in 2002.

According to federal authorities, the group has a long history of trafficking in both guns and narcotics.

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