Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento-area members of motorcycle gang charged with drug trafficking

Several Sacramento-area residents, described by federal authorities as members and associates of an outlaw motorcycle gang, have been indicted on drug-trafficking charges.

Four indictments issued Thursday involve the Vagos, identified in a federal Department of Justice news release as an outlaw motorcycle gang. The first indictment charges James Cline, 43, of Rio Linda, and Leonard Walter, 37, and Michael Wright, 45, both of Sacramento, with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine and distribution of methamphetamine. Three separate indictments charge Sacramento residents Richard Cardenas, 49, Quentin Stallings, 35, and David Homan, 50, with distribution of methamphetamine.

Cline, Walter, Wright and Cardenas were each ordered detained during earlier court hearings. Authorities said Stallings and Homan are considered fugitives.

According to court documents, the investigation targeted three Sacramento-area chapters of the Vagos. The motorcycle club began in the late 1960s in California and has evolved into one of the largest outlaw motorcycle gangs in the western United States, according to the Department of Justice. The organization reportedly has nearly 600 members in 24 chapters in Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and Utah. It also has chapters in Mexico.

Authorities said the club has an organized hierarchy that includes a national president, vice president, sergeant at arms, secretary and treasurer. The chapters report to the national leadership and have required meetings and events, and monthly dues.

Authorities said the investigation confirmed that the Sacramento-area Vagos are involved in illegal activities. Such activities include distributing methamphetamine, purchasing illegal weapons and handling stolen motorcycles. During the investigation, the FBI used confidential sources and undercover agents to purchase methamphetamine from Vagos members and their associates in the Sacramento area. Authorities said the FBI is still investigating.

The case resulted from an investigation by the FBI, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the Sacramento and West Sacramento police departments, and the Placer County Sheriff’s Office.