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SC Hell’s Angels Sentenced

The United States Attorney’s Office announced in a press release that three “full patch” members of the Hell’s Angels were sentenced on racketeering charges, one of them getting 200 months in prison. The three were part of a group of sixteen members of the South Carolina branch of the motorcycle club that have been convicted of crimes relating to running a criminal organization under the RICO statutes.

United States Attorney Bill Nettles said, “We are pleased to partner with federal, state, and local law enforcement in response to community concerns about outlaw motorcycle gangs. Removing machine-guns, silencers, assault rifles, other illegal firearms, and drugs from our streets while disrupting the trafficking activities of violent gangs, such as the Hells Angels, is and will remain a priority of the United States Attorney’s Office.”

The description of the club reads exactly like you might expect if the extent of your knowledge of the Hell’s Angels comes from movie portrayals. Members and associates of the Hells Angels South Carolina Nomads Charter operated from Lexington to Rock Hill, South Carolina. As part of the coordinated criminal activity, the group engaged in drug dealing, money laundering, firearms trafficking, use of firearms in relation to crimes of violence and drug dealing, attempted armed robbery, arson, and other offenses. The drug of choice for sale in this case was methamphetamine.

Investigators used the full range of tricks to get the information needed to convict. Including cooperating individuals, surveillance, search warrants, court-authorized wiretaps, consensual recordings, controlled buys, and stings. Motorcycle clubs are notoriously hard to bust because of the extensive vetting before membership is offered and because they are a close-knit community.

In this case, it took the combined efforts of the FBI, ATF, and several local police forces, including Sheriff’s Offices from Lexington and York Counties, and the Rock Hill Police Department.

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