Hells Angels Members Apprehended for Kidnapping and Assault in California; Authorities Confiscated Firearms

Authorities announced on Tuesday that the entire chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in Bakersfield, California, has been arrested in connection with an ongoing investigation into kidnapping, robbery, and assault.

According to a statement from the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, the recent arrests involved five individuals who are currently part of the club’s Bakersfield chapter, along with two others who are affiliated with Sons of Hell, a motorcycle club that is under the jurisdiction of the Bakersfield Hells Angels chapter.

Authorities have confiscated 25 firearms, along with an undisclosed amount of ammunition and gang-related items, as stated in a press release issued in collaboration with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Several individuals were apprehended on Tuesday morning as a result of a collaborative effort between the ATF, the sheriff’s office, and the California Highway Patrol. The investigation is still ongoing, according to the agencies.

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According to the statement, John Vaughn, 37, was already in custody due to “other charges,” making him one of the seven suspects. All the individuals under investigation are reportedly from Bakersfield.

Additional individuals taken into custody include Ricardo Alvarez, aged 42; Armando Villasenor, aged 55; Joseph Soto Sr., aged 57; Joseph Soto Jr., aged 33; Joshua Zavala, aged 31; and John Seeger, aged 57.

Hells Angels Members Apprehended for Kidnapping and Assault in California; Authorities Confiscated Firearms
Image; NBC News

According to the statement, Vaughn and Seeger are affiliated with Sons of Hell, while the others are reportedly associated with the Bakersfield chapter of the Hells Angels.

Formal charges have not been filed against them as reported by NBC News.

Law enforcement officials have stated that the arrests were made in connection with a range of serious allegations, including kidnapping, 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.

The origin of the investigation remains uncertain, as it is unclear whether it is related to a single incident or a series of incidents. The spokesperson for the Kern County sheriff, Lori Meza, stated that due to the ongoing investigation, specific details cannot be disclosed at this time.

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