- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Federal agents have arrested 55 members of the Hells Angels motorcycle club on weapons and drug charges in a two-year undercover probe that targeted gang members in Nevada, California, Washington state and Alaska.

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents took the gang members into custody during raids yesterday in Las Vegas, Phoenix, San Diego and Seattle, confiscating 50 firearms, a silencer and a quarter-pound of suspected methamphetamine.

“This joint operation is just one small part of ATF’s ongoing, collaborative efforts to reduce violent crime, particularly as it relates to gang violence and firearms-related violent crime,” said Donald R. Kincaid, who heads the ATF field office in Los Angeles.

ATF spokesman Andrew L. Lluberes said the two-year investigation centered on successfully gathering evidence against members and associates of the Hells Angels, including narcotics, firearms and stolen explosives.

He said the gang is believed to be involved in a variety of criminal activities, including the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine, firearms and explosives trafficking, extortion and motorcycle theft.

Active back to the 1940s, he said the Hells Angels have an estimated worldwide membership of approximately 2,500 “full patched” members and prospects. The Hells Angels are considered the largest and most heavily armed of all the “outlaw motorcycle gangs.”

Additional charges in the case are expected, Mr. Lluberes said.

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