Saturday, April 23, 2022

Hells Angels RICO trial begins - Update

A prospect for the Sonoma Hells Angels lived a double life as an FBI informant. He, along with two former HA members, will be the most important of dozens of government witnesses in the racketeering trial. Defense lawyers called it an “unholy alliance” between “shady, disreputable hooligans” and cops desperate to take down the HAMC. The club are a band of brothers who celebrate “freedom, a love of the open road and motorcycles”. The first two government witnesses were victims of beatdowns.
Its been nearly five years since the FBI rounded up nearly a dozen Hells Angels to face allegations of murder of their own. Now, three of the defendants, including club chapter presidents in Fresno and Sonoma, are set to go before a jury. Jonathan 'Jon Jon' Nelson, Russell 'Rusty' Ott, and Brian Wendt, are accused of violating the federal Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organizations Act through their involvement in the HAMC. They are accused of luring former sergeant-at-arms Joel Silva to his execution. Silva was at the Fresno clubhouse when he was killed. Wendt allegedly shot him in the back of the head.
Silva often binged on drugs, behaved unpredictably and attacked HA guests. He sealed his fate by saying he was going to kill a fellow Hells Angel named Sweeney, who was close to Boston/Salem president Christopher Ranieri. The trial begins Monday.