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Entire California Hells Angels chapter arrested in criminal street gang investigation

The Kern County Sheriff's Office has announced the arrests of the entire Bakersfield, California chapter of the Hells Angels "outlaw motorcycle gang."

An entire chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club has been arrested in California as part of a criminal street gang investigation and now face charges including kidnapping, robbery and assault, police say. 

The Kern County Sheriff’s Office announced that the Bakersfield chapter of the “outlaw motorcycle gang” was taken into custody on Tuesday following a joint probe with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and the California Highway Patrol. 

“More than 150 law enforcement personnel seized approximately 25 firearms, ammunition, multiple high-capacity magazines, and gang affiliate paraphernalia,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. 


Police released images of the firearms – which included several rifles – laid out on a table, along with patches, jackets and other clothing. 

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Those arrested were identified as Ricardo Alvarez, 42, Armando Villasenor, 55, Joseph Soto Sr., 57, Joseph Soto Jr., 33, Joshua Zavala, 31, and John Seeger, 57, all from Bakersfield. 

A seventh suspect linked to the investigation, 37-year-old Joshua Vaughn, was already in custody on other charges and “eight search warrants were executed at various locations throughout Bakersfield,” the Sheriff’s Office also said. 

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“Alvarez, Villasenor, Soto Sr., Soto Jr., and Zavala are active, patched members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, Bakersfield Chapter,” police added. “Vaughn and Seeger are members of the Sons Of Hell Motorcycle Club. This sub-affiliate Motorcycle Club takes orders and direction from the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.” 

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All seven of the suspects now face charges of kidnapping, first-degree robbery, criminal threats, false imprisonment, assault with a firearm, participation in a criminal street gang, criminal conspiracy, intimidating a witness or victim and elder abuse, according to the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. 

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