SAN FRANCISCO – LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – U.S. Attorney …

SAN FRANCISCO – LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – U.S. Attorney Kevin V. Ryan announced that Raymond Michael Foakes, 42, and Michael Vargas, 56, made their initial appearance this morning on criminal charges of methamphetamine distribution. The complaint, which was unsealed this morning, charges defendant Foakes, the president of the Sonoma County Chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, and defendant Vargas with conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Foakes and Vargas surrendered to authorities yesterday. Both individuals are residents of Santa Rosa, California.

The following federal state and local law enforcement agencies conducted the investigation, which resulted in the execution of search warrants on six locations on June 2, 2006: FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, DEA, Santa Rosa Police Department, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol, California Bureau of Narcotics Enforcement, and California Bureau of Alcohol and Beverage Control.

U.S. Attorney Kevin V. Ryan stated, “We will continue to prosecute individuals allegedly trafficking in methamphetamine, which plagues our communities and destroys lives. I thank all of the law enforcement agencies for their outstanding collaboration in this investigation.”

According to the complaint, the investigation into defendants Vargas and Foakes is connected to Joseph Wilson, the President of the San Francisco Chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club. Mr. Wilson was indicted on April 21, 2006, on methamphetamine charges. Further information on those charges is available at: http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/can/press/html/2006_04_21_hells%20angels.htm.

Arthur Balizan, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the San Francisco FBI, said, “This investigation is an example of what can be accomplished when federal, state, and local law enforcement work together in a united effort. The FBI is determined to continue these partnerships to remove all types of criminals from communities where citizens live with the fear and danger of violence.”

According to Roger L. Wirth, “We are proud to be a part of this joint law enforcement effort. This is a good example of how the IRS can lend our financial expertise in narcotics investigations to help take the profit out of the illicit activities of these criminal organizations.”

The maximum statutory penalty for each charge is as follows:

Distribution and possession with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of pure methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. 841(a)(1): minimum 10 years, maximum life imprisonment, a $4,000,000 fine, and a minimum of 5 years supervised release

Conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 50 grams or more of pure methamphetamine, in violation of 21 U.S.C. 846 : minimum 10 years, maximum life imprisonment, a $4,000,000 fine, and a minimum of 5 years supervised release

However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

A complaint contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, these defendants must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Dave Hall is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Karem Alvarez.

Further Information:

A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.

Electronic court filings and further procedural and docket information are available at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/login.plhttps://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/.

Judges’ calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court’s website at www.cand.uscourts.gov.

All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney’s Office should be directed to Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 or by email at [email protected]

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