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Thu, Oct. 17

ATF agents hit Hells Angels again

CHINO VALLEY – Federal agents arrested at least seven Hells Angels motorcycle gang members and associates in Arizona Wednesday, including two people from Chino Valley, during raids of the club's hangouts across the West.

Tom Mangan, a spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), said that ATF agents, with help from local law enforcement, arrested Theodore John Toth, 56, and Robert T. Reinstra, 42, at a North Yuma Drive residence in Chino Valley.

Mangan said authorities believe that Hells Angels refer to that location as the Skull Valley Club House.

Mangan said he can't comment as to what charges the two suspects are facing because a court has sealed arrest warrants and indictments.

"Obviously, there are various violations of federal law" including drug and firearm trafficking, he said.

The Associated Press reported that ATF agents also targeted the San Francisco headquarters of the Hells Angels gang and executed arrest and search warrants in Southern California, Washington state, Nevada and Alaska.

The entire operation led to 57 arrests of Hells Angels members and associates, according to the Associated Press.

Mangan said the operation, which ATF agents conducted simultaneously at dawn across the West, was a continuation of the July crackdown that came after a two-year undercover investigation into alleged violations of drug and gun laws.

At that time federal agents arrested 30 suspects on various charges including murder-for-hire, drug trafficking and distributing firearms and bomb-making materials. About 18 of them were members or associates of the Hells Angels, Mangan said previously.

"The activities that occurred (Wednesday) are a part of the interviews and evidence that was taken at the enforcement activities that occurred back in July," he said.

Mangan said the raids in Arizona occurred in various locations including Kingman, Bullhead City, Chino Valley, Phoenix and Tucson.

Mangan said 57-year-old George Walters, who was one of the two suspects arrested at the Chino Valley residence during the July raids, is now facing additional charges after federal agents arrested him again, this time in Kingman.

The goal of the Arizona raids was to execute a number of arrest warrants rather than to look for any illegal items, he said.

"However, if any illegal articles are found, we would get a search warrant on that place," he said.

Sharon Wachter, spokeswoman for the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, said at least 40 officers from local law enforcement agencies participated in the raid at the Chino Valley residence.

"They went into the home and they detained five persons and arrested the two that were in question," she said. "Both of those men were transported by ATF to the federal jail in Phoenix."

Contact the reporter at mburicadam@prescottaz.com

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