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Vagos motorcycle gang members indicted

On Aug. 7, federal authorities issued four indictments against alleged members of an outlaw motorcycle gang in California called the Vagos. Most of the individuals charged in the indictment are residents of Sacramento, but the motorcycle gang that they are connected to is believed to have chapters across the U.S. and Mexico. The investigation was focused on three Sacramento-area chapters of the gang that are suspected of being involved in drug trafficking.

Individuals who were identified in the first federal indictment were charged for possession of methamphetamine with intent to distribute, distribution of methamphetamine and conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. Three other individuals were also issued three separate indictments for distribution of methamphetamine. The FBI reportedly gained information for the indictment through the use of undercover agents who would make methamphetamine purchases from alleged gang members.

According to investigators, the Vagos motorcycle gang was started in California in the 1960s. The club is now believed to have 24 chapters with a total of almost 600 members. Chapters of the Vagos have been found in the U.S. states of Arizona, California, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Hawaii. With a hierarchical structure that includes a national president, membership in the organization includes obligatory meetings and payment of monthly dues.

A person charged for drug crimes in connection to an alleged criminal organization could face the possibility of gang enhancements being added to their charges. To mitigate the effects of this connection, a criminal defense lawyer may help an accused individual to establish distance from their activities and those of the greater criminal organization. A person might argue that though they may have had contact with members of the gang, they were ignorant of their apparent role in the gang's activities.

Source: The Sacramento Bee, "Sacramento-area members of motorcycle gang charged with drug trafficking", Cathy Locke, August 08, 2014

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