OFF THE WIRE
BY: STEVEN BARRIE
The San Bernardino County district attorney’s office has filed felony charges against five men arrested in Thursday’s raids on Vagos Motorcycle Club members.
Andrew Eloy “Hulk” Lozano, 35, was charged with one count of possession of body armor along with a sentencing enhancement of committing a crime to benefit a criminal street gang, San Bernardino County Superior Court records indicate.
Lozano is being held at the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, where his bail was set at $450,000, jail records indicate.
Thomas Henry Gibson, 60, is charged with selling marijuana with the gang-benefit sentencing enhancement, court records indicate. Gibson is also being held at the Rancho Cucamonga jail, with bail set at $250,000.
Pastor Fausto Palafox, 47, and Scott Randall Rivera, 46, are charged with the theft of a motorcycle, also for the benefit of a street gang. Rivera is being held at the Central Detention Center in San Bernardino, with bail set at $250,000. Palafox has been released on bail.
Also charged in the motorcycle theft was Caesar Rodriguez, according to a felony complaint document, but neither jail records nor a case file were available on him.
“The whole thing is bogus,” said Joe Yanny, the attorney for the Vagos Motorcycle Club. “These are nothing but trumped-up charges.”
The men were among nine arrested Thursday in a seven-county sweep by a federal, state and local task force that targeted the Vagos. In addition to the arrests, the sweep netted 46 pounds of cocaine, eight pounds of methamphetamine and 300 weapons, the San Bernardino County district attorney’s office said.
Yanny questioned why authorities have not charged any of those arrested with weapons charges or with charges related to the drugs seized.
Calls to Deputy District Attorney Steve Sanchez, who is prosecuting San Bernardino County’s portion of the case, were not returned Friday.
Also contributing to this report: Staff writer John Asbury, email@example.com