FBI won’t discuss reason for raid on Reno home

RENO — FBI agents remain mum on why they raided the Reno home of brothel owner and Hells Angels leader David Burgess.

“We are here executing a search warrant and that’s really all we can say,” Bill Woerner, FBI assistant special agent in charge, told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Agents, many carrying assault rifles and wearing bullet-proof vests, also declined to say what they found during the search of the home Thursday.

Burgess, owner of the Old Bridge Ranch brothel in Mustang just east of Reno, awaits trial Dec. 3 in Wyoming after his July 26 arrest there on a felony charge of possessing cocaine.

He was arrested after troopers pulled over his motor home, called the “War Wagon,” on Interstate 80. He told troopers he was on his way to the 2007 Hells Angels USA Run in Eureka Springs, Ark., at the time.

In 2003, federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents raided the Hells Angels clubhouse in Sparks as part of a five-state crackdown on the group.

The clubhouse had been owned by Joe Conforte, the former owner of the Mustang Ranch brothel east of Reno and now a fugitive in Brazil. Burgess is the nephew of Sally Conforte, the late wife of Joe Conforte.

David Staretz, chief legal counsel for the FBI in Las Vegas, would confirm only that the latest search was conducted in Reno.

“It was a joint operation between the FBI and the Reno Police Department,” Woerner said.

Traffic was blocked outside Burgess’ Mayberry Drive home in southwest Reno during the search, which lasted several hours. A Humvee blocked the home’s driveway.

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