A federal grand jury in Las Vegas handed down indictments against 23 Vagos biker gang members and their associates years after eight suspects were charged with murder at a popular casino.
The Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) indictment, which alleges numerous violent acts, such as murder, kidnapping and firearms crimes, was unsealed Friday, officials said.
It details charges against Ernesto Manuel "Romero" Gonzalez and others for the murder of a rival Hells Angels gang member killed at the Nugget resort September 23, 2011 in Sparks, Nevada near the city of Reno. A State of Alert had gone out in Sparks at the time of the incident due to fears of mounting violence and retaliation.
"The indictment alleges that the Vagos gang is a highly organized criminal organization that adheres to a hierarchical chain of command, and whose members conspired to enrich the gang; to preserve, protect and enhance the power of the gang; and to keep victims in fear of the gang through acts and threats of violence," officials wrote in a news release.
The Vagos Motorcycle Club, also known as the Green Nation, is a one percenter motorcycle club and alleged organized crime syndicate formed in 1965 in the unincorporated community of San Bernardino, California.
The indictments offer a shocking glimpse inside the apparent violent world of the Vagos gang citing one member ordering fellow gang members to gather “intelligence” on rivals while instructing others to “take off their top guy” and to “make sure they have plenty of bullets and our families have a safe place to go.”
A member was charged with selling a semi-automatic rifle and cocaine to at least one undercover officer posing as a Vagos member.
The indictment goes on to mention how three of the Vagos bikers “trapped” a patron they felt had disrespected them at a west valley bar bathroom and beat and severely injured him. Henderson helped the group escape.
“My department remains steadfast in its commitment to work in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies to disrupt and dismantle violent crime and gang activities in Clark County, Nevada,” said Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo in the release. “This RICO indictment represents a critical step toward dismantling this violent organization and clearly signals that the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and our law enforcement partners have an unwavering commitment to hold those individuals accountable who insist on creating an atmosphere of violence and fear in our communities.”
- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com