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3 Hells Angels convicted of murder, RICO fees in key FBI probe

SAN FRANCISCO — In the conclusion to the Bay Area’s biggest federal prosecution in modern memory, a few Hells Angels have been convicted of murdering a single of their very own in a plot that centered on a charter of the infamous biker gang found in California’s wine nation.

Jonathan “Jon Jon” Nelson, Brian Wendt, and Russell “Rusty” Ott, were being all discovered guilty of racketeering and murder related to their roles in a plot to lure Joel “Dough Boy” Silva to the Hells Angels Fresno clubhouse, shoot him in the back of the head, and dispose of his entire body through an unlawful cremation at a close by funeral household. The jury deliberated for minimal more than a working day right before returning the verdicts.

The verdicts convey to an close a two-month trial that centered on the text of three informants who’d served numerous roles in the Hells Angels, which includes two previous associates who grew to become informants after they were being seriously beaten by users of the club. A third gentleman infiltrated the club as a prospect, although secretly performing for the FBI.

The case was component of a significant FBI probe that focused 13 Hells Angels — even though 1 died in a motorcycle crash shortly immediately after the indictment was submitted in 2017 — which include some of the Bay Area’s most popular associates, as nicely as the president of the club’s Boston chapter. Nine other individuals are nevertheless awaiting trial on expenses pertaining to Silva’s murder as effectively as unrelated assaults.

Attorneys for Nelson, Wendt, and Ott all attacked the government’s scenario as a flimsy hodgepodge of unreliable witnesses coupled with inconsequential FBI testimony built to smear the Hells Angels and make mountains out of molehills. For occasion, lawyers countered testimony that the defendants’ phones placed them in the spot of Silva’s killing by expressing the team created recurrent outings to the Fresno clubhouse all the time.

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Wendt has been in jail because the indictment, even though Nelson and Ott have been out of custody. They had been both of those remanded to Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on Wednesday, exactly where they remaining pending sentencing. All a few confront feasible lifetime sentences, to be decided by U.S. District Choose Edward Chen.

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