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Entire California Hells Angels chapter arrested in robbery, kidnapping investigation

Lawrence, Nakia

By Dean Fioresi

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BAKERSFIELD, California (KCAL/KCBS) — Authorities arrested an entire chapter of Hells Angels Motorcycle Club members in Bakersfield on allegations of kidnapping and robbery in a multi-department investigation.

The joint investigation, which included members with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Kern County Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway Patrol, saw six arrests early Tuesday morning.

More than 150 law enforcement officers swarmed eight different locations, where they arrested the six individuals and seized more than two dozen guns, ammunition, multiple high-capacity magazines and gang affiliate paraphernalia, according to a statement from ATF.

In all, Bakersfield men Ricardo Alvarez, 42, Armando Villasenor, 55, Joseph Soto Sr., 57, Joseph Soto Jr. 33, Joshua Zavala, 31, and John Seeger, 57, were taken into custody.

A seventh member, identified as 37-year-old Joshua Vaughn, was already in custody on other charges.

Alvarez, Villasenor, Soto Sr., Soto Jr. and Zavala are all active and patched members of the Bakersfield chapter of Hells Angels, investigators say. Vaughn and Seeger are members of the Sons of Hell Motorcycle club, a sub-affiliate that takes orders and directions from Hells Angels leaders.

All seven of the suspects were charged with kidnapping, first degree robbery, making criminal threats, false imprisonment, assault with a firearm, participation in a criminal street gang, criminal conspiracy, intimidating a witness or victim and elder abuse.

Due to the ongoing nature of the investigation, no further information was provided. The charges were referred to the Kern County District Attorney’s Office for filing.

The news comes after three members of the Sonoma County chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club were sentenced earlier this month to life in prison for murder in aid of racketeering.

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