10 Vagos motorcycle gang members arrested in Southland raids

Phil Willon (Los Angeles Times) | October 7, 2011

Authorities arrested 10 members of the Vagos motorcycle gang suspected of drug trafficking and a rash of violence during a series of raids early Thursday across Southern California, a crackdown that comes less than two weeks after a Vagos member allegedly killed a rival Hells Angels member at a Nevada casino.

The arrests were the result of an 18-month investigation led by state investigators into one of the most “violent criminal” motorcycle gangs in the nation, authorities said. Members of the gang, which started in the Inland Empire in the 1960s, face allegations of conspiracy to commit murder, rape, weapons violations, money laundering and drug violations.

“It’s a dangerous organization … that’s responsible for putting drugs into our communities and schools,” said Senior Special Agent in Charge David King of the state Department of Justice in Riverside. “These individuals are armed to protect their criminal enterprise, and they’ve shown how quickly they are willing to use their guns in public.”

Law enforcement authorities Thursday executed 52 search warrants in San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Santa Barbara and Imperial counties. Arrest warrants also were issued for 12 high-ranking Vagos members, 10 of whom were in custody by late morning. Two associates also were arrested.

A team of officers from the San Bernardino Police Department and state Department of Justice took a battering ram to the door of Pastor Palafox of Colton, the Vagos international president, bursting into the house with weapons drawn.

The Vagos leader was gone and remains at large, though officers carted off evidence from the house. The only outside indication of who lived there was the black Harley-Davidson emblem on the home’s curbside address.

Authorities also raided a Vagos clubhouse in the remote Riverside County town of Anza, as well as one in North Hollywood. More than 300 weapons were seized, including 100 from a home in Alhambra.

“This gang … has been terrorizing our community for years,” San Bernardino County Dist. Atty. Michael Ramos said at an afternoon news conference. “This is a major, major takedown.”

Read more at: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-1007-vagos-sweep-20111007,0,3479063.story?track=rss

Posted by on Oct 7 2011. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

3 Comments for “10 Vagos motorcycle gang members arrested in Southland raids”

  1. Anonymous

    I love it when they go into the clubhouses of these outlaw bikers and take everything to be used against them as evidence.

  2. Don

    I realise it’s Commifornia, but how do you just go into someone’s house and take their guns?

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