2 biker gang members released with conditions

Updated June 19, 2017 - 8:49 pm

A federal judge on Monday ordered supervised release for two Vagos Outlaw Motorcycle Gang members who were arrested on racketeering charges last week.

Local bikers Jeremy Halgat and Robert Coleman are charged, along with 21 others, in a 12-count indictment that accuses the Vagos gang of a litany of violent crimes — including murder, assault, kidnapping, extortion and witness intimidation.

The decision Monday followed a contentious detention hearing at which Assistant U.S. Attorney Cristina Silva argued Halgat and Coleman both violated pretrial release conditions in separate cases that arose from a 2012 federal investigation of the bikers’ club. Both men, she said, continued to associate with the Vagos gang in spite of prior court orders that explicitly prohibit contact.

Silva said prosecutors never brought the violations to the court’s attention because to do so would have compromised the ongoing racketeering investigation, which relied heavily on the use of undercover agents and confidential informants. She requested detention orders for both men.

But because the violations never were reported, U.S. Magistrate Judge Cam Ferenbach said he could not detain Coleman and Halgat.

“I realize there was a reason for it, but that sticks me with the situation that I have,” Ferenbach said. The judge imposed conditions of release that require the men to surrender their passports, to remain in Nevada unless they obtain permission to go elsewhere, and to avoid all contact with other members of the Vagos motorcycle club.

Silva said she intends to appeal the judge’s decision on Halgat, 39, who is accused, among other things, of telling an undercover officer that he planned to attack a fellow gang member as retaliation for cooperating with law enforcement. He also faces gun and drug charges.

Since his arrest in the previous case, Silva said, Halgat has continued to engage in criminal activity with the Vagos gang. She handed the judge a printout from the Anti-Defamation League’s Hate Symbol database as well as pictures of Halgat that she said show the biker wearing the SS Bolts, a white supremacist and neo-Nazi symbol.

“It’s not something I would wear, but I don’t really see what the pertinence of that is,” said Halgat’s court-appointed attorney, Christopher Arabia.

Silva also said that while facing federal charges, Halgat created a business. Normally the government would support such endeavors, she said. But not in Halgat’s case.

“The defendant is now selling vape,” Silva said. “Some of the vape flavors are criminal custard, homicide, conspiracy and pure luck.”

The prosecutor said the branding of the vape shop bears striking resemblance to that of the Vagos bikers’ gang, with whom Halgat was supposed to avoid contact.

Coleman, 59, also was accused Monday of continuing to associate with the gang after his prior arrest. Silva described him as a “president” who had a position of power in the gang. Both defendants, the prosecutor said, had ties to Mexico — and Halgat “liked to brag about how he would take grenades back and forth across the border,” she said.

Two more men were arrested in Las Vegas and will have detention hearings at a later date. The other so-called gang members charged in the indictment were arrested elsewhere, and the government is in the process of extraditing them to Las Vegas for prosecution.

Contact Jenny Wilson at jenwilson@reviewjournal.com or 702-384-8710. Follow @jennydwilson on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Crime
Nye County detectives pursue suspects
A swarm of Nye County deputies, at the request of Las Vegas police, surrounded a hotel room in Pahrump last week to take two fugitives into custody. (Nye County Sheriff's Office)
Las Vegas judge’s ruling will halt tonight’s execution
On Wednesday Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez issued a ruling that will halt the execution of convicted murderer Scott Dozier. Alvogen Inc., which makes the sedative midazolam, filed a lawsuit Tuesday accusing the Nevada Department of Corrections of surreptitiously obtaining the drug for use in an execution.
3 people shot in southeast Las Vegas
Three men were shot Thursday night in southeast Las Vegas, and two of them have life threatening injuries. Las Vegas police responded to the incident just after 10 p.m. on the 5000 block of Mountain Vista Street. The investigation is in its early stages and police were unable to describe the suspect or say how man people they think were involved. Police encourage anyone with information regarding this shooting to call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555, or 3-1-1
Robbery suspects apprehended
Four robbery suspects were taken into custody Thursday morning after a vehicle and foot chase that ended in an east Las Vegas neighborhood. The incident began when a person was robbed at gunpoint around 4:45 a.m. near Maryland Parkway and Desert Inn. Officers arriving at the scene tried to stop two vehicles. One vehicle escaped but police chased the second into a neighborhood on Flamingo Road near Mountain Vista Street. Police surrounded the neighborhood and the suspects were apprehended. It looked like one police vehicle was involved in a collision with the suspects' car. One woman suffered an unknown injury and was taken to the hospital in an ambulance. 01:04
Las Vegas police looking for robbery suspects
Two robbers who recently targeted three Las Vegas businesses remained at large Tuesday and police are asking the public to help identify them. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser gives update of officer-involved shooting
Metro Capt. Jaime Prosser provides an update about an officer-involved shooting at Radwick Drive and Owens Avenue in the northeast Las Vegas on Thursday. A robbery suspect was shot and killed. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
LVMPD Looking For Robbery Suspect
The LVMPD Commercial Robbery Section is attempting to identify the pictured suspect who is responsible for committing robberies to businesses in the southern part of the Las Vegas Valley during the month of May 2018. The suspect enters the business, threatens the employee with a firearm and demands money from the register. The employee complies and the suspect flees the business.
North Las Vegas police are investigating a triple shooting that left one man dead
North Las Vegas police are investigating a triple shooting that left one man dead at 2500 block of Ellis St., on Friday, June 8, 2018. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like