Thursday, May 18, 2023

Hells Angels Sonoma RICO trial ends - guilty - update

Raymond 'Ray Ray' Foakes
HA Raymond 'Ray Ray' Foakes and HA Christopher 'Rain Man' Ranieri have been convicted, while a third biker has been acquitted. Foakes was convicted of racketeering conspiracy, assault with a deadly weapon and witness intimidation.  Ranieri was convicted of murder conspiracy and racketeering. Both men face decades in prison. It was a nearly identical trial to the 2022 RICO trial that put Russell 'Rusty' Ott, Jonathan 'Jon Jon' Nelson, and Brian Wayne Wendt away for the murder of Joel Silva.

Christopher 'Rain Man' Ranieri

Jonathan Nelson, right.
HA Jonathan 'Jon Jon' Nelson, Russell 'Rusty' Ott, and Brian Wendt were convicted of murder and RICO charges and sentenced to life.

Brian Wendt

Jonathan 'Jon Jon' Nelson, left.
A prospect for the Sonoma Hells Angels lived a double life as an FBI informant. He, along with two former HA members, were 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.
Five years ago the FBI rounded up nearly a dozen Hells Angels to face allegations of murder of their own. Three of the defendants, including club chapter presidents in Fresno and Sonoma, went before a jury. Jonathan 'Jon Jon' Nelson, Russell 'Rusty' Ott, and Brian Wendt violated the federal RICO Act through their involvement in the HAMC. They lured former sergeant-at-arms Joel Silva to his execution. Silva was killed at the Fresno clubhouse. Wendt shot him in the back of the head. Silva binged on drugs, behaved unpredictably and attacked HA guests. He sealed his fate by threatening to kill a fellow Hells Angel named Sweeney, who was close to Boston/Salem president Christopher Ranieri.