Thirty-Six Defendants with Alleged Ties to Hells Angels Motorcycle Club Charged in Federal Drug Conspiracy Investigation

September 30, 2011

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on September 29, 2011 released the following:

“Keith Slotter, Special Agent in Charge of the San Diego FBI office, announces the arrest of 26 people with ties to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. Six defendants were already in custody and four are considered fugitives at this time.

On Thursday, September 29, 2011, over 250 law enforcement officers, deputies, and agents from San Diego County participated in arrests and searches of individuals and locations with ties to the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.

Twenty-six people were arrested today on federal drug charges, and 19 locations searched. The searches resulted in the seizure of thousands of dollars in U.S. currency, 10 firearms, and quantities of drugs.

The charges in this matter stem from a two-year investigation conducted by the FBI’s Violent Crime Gang Task Force. The investigation focused on the methamphetamine trafficking and violent crimes committed by the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club (San Diego Charter) and their criminal partners. As set forth in the complaint, the defendants are members and associates of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. During this investigation agents and detectives prevented a kidnapping.

The complaint charges the following defendants with Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a)(1), 846-Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine.

  • Michael Edward Ottinger Jr. (1)
  • David Raymond Garcia (2)
  • Ernesto Verdugo Jr. (3)
  • Jonathan Alfredo Garcia-Jara (4)
  • Robert Cota Jr. (5)
  • Martin Francisco Moreno (6)
  • Jaime Mota-Marquillo (7)
  • Hugo Gomez Flores (8)
  • Rory Cruz Flanigan (9)
  • Jason Alex Scanlon (10)
  • Stephan Paul Vukelich (11)
  • Eduardo Andres Sarquiz (12)
  • Juan Antonio Mendez (13)
  • Philip John Castagnola (14)
  • Billy Manuel Castellano (15)
  • Daniel Joseph Seiler (16)
  • Grant Eugent Bisel Jr. (17)
  • Cynthia Marie Stephan (18)
  • Matthew Joseph Mooney (19)
  • Cheryl Marie Frega (20)
  • Darrel Lee Cooper (21)
  • Robert Blaine Hodges (22)
  • Mercedes Nina Cohen (23)
  • Bruce Kevin Lambert (24)
  • Jason Michael Bradford (25)
  • Douglas Edward Witcher (26)
  • Phalen Farber (27)
  • Tina Marie Bray (28)
  • Derek Ralph Low (29)
  • Mary Elizabeth Saber (30)
  • Martin Thomas Forschner (31)
  • Quinton Lynn Koonce II (32)
  • Anthony James Medvec (33)
  • Andre Guy Almarez (34)

Charged in a separate complaint were Patrick James Haggerty and Leo David Garcia, Jr. Both were charged with Title 21, United States Code, Section 841(a) (1), 846-Conspiracy to Distribute Methamphetamine.

Members of the FBI Violent Crime Gang Task Force are as follows: San Diego Police Department, San Diego Sheriff’s Department, Bureau of Prisons, National City Police Department, Chula Vista Police Department, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Attorney’s Office, San Diego District Attorney’s Office, and San Diego County Probation Department.

Those arrested in today’s operation have been booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center and will have their initial appearance before a U.S. Magistrate Judge on Friday, September 30, 2011. This case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

An arrest itself is not evidence that the defendants committed crimes charged. The defendants are presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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