Judge to consider whether Road Dog Cycle owner's son should be released

New judge to consider arguments by prosecution against Brent Holloway

07/30/2008 4:42 AM

07/30/2008 4:47 AM

Brent Holloway will be held in custody until a federal judge can take a second look at whether he should be released, according to court documents.

Holloway was ordered released on house arrest with electronic monitoring last week, but prosecutors requested a different judge to reconsider the decision. Magistrate Judge Oliver W. Wanger of the U.S. District Court in Fresno set Holloway's next hearing for Thursday at 9 a.m.

Authorities contend that Holloway and his father ran a racketeering enterprise out of Road Dog Cycle in Denair. A grand jury indicted the Holloways and 11 others earlier this month on charges related to suspected illegal operations at the shop going back to 1997.

Robert Holloway III, 60, of Turlock was denied a request for release last week.

A motion prosecutors filed to support their argument that Brent Holloway should remain in custody outlines in more detail the allegations about operations at Road Dog.

Authorities said Robert Holloway ran what they have termed the "Holloway criminal enterprise" and that Brent Holloway, who lives in Modesto, was his second-in-command.

According to the motion filed Monday, the motorcycle shop was the site of "both legal and illegal" business, including chop shop operations, "namely the purchase, sale, dismantlement, tampering, altering, and exportation of stolen motorcycles and motorcycle parts. Illegal operations also include the theft of motorcycles via extortionate means."

Prosecutors said members of motorcycle clubs including the Hells Angels, Jus Brothers, Alky Haulers, Top Hatters and East Bay Dragons, became involved with the alleged criminal enterprise at Road Dog.

Authorities described Robert Holloway as "the driving force" of the enterprise, and that "all decisions are made by and cleared through him."

Supporters said the Holloways have contributed much to their communities and were simply too flexible about allowing certain customers who didn't have their finances in order to leave with the shop's motorcycles.

According to the motion, Robert Holloway planned to turn over operations at Road Dog to Brent Holloway, though it does not give a time frame.

The prosecution's motion listed a variety of people who prosecutors said have an interest in the success of the alleged criminal enterprise at Road Dog. The list included co-defendants who were indicted along with the Holloways, plus Kathy Holloway, Robert Holloway's wife.

Other associates listed in the motion include Hells Angels Merced chapter member and former Road Dog employee Kellen Brenton; Jus Brothers motorcycle club chapter President Paul "Boston" Pedrosa; and several Nomad chapter members of the Hells Angels, including William Daniel Dugranrut, now deceased; Eddie "Buddy" Taylor; and Gary Lavendusky.

"These associates serve various roles and functions within the enterprise and act in a manner which supports the illegal operations of the enterprise," according to the motion.

Prosecutors said Road Dog Cycle extended credit to members of clubs. When debts were not repaid, they claim, Robert Holloway would contact chapter presidents who would become responsible for debt collection.

"Intercepts and interviews revealed that force was often used to collect debts," according to the motion.

Prosecutors allege that Robert Holloway had a "very heated" meeting with debtor Carl Ellis and Micah Dizney about Ellis' debt to the Holloways. They allege that Ellis then stole a motorcycle in a home invasion robbery and turned it over to Brent Holloway to satisfy his debt to Road Dog.

Prosecutors also allege that two witnesses had to be moved into protective services because they were threatened after their names appeared in a Feb. 1 search warrant that allowed investigators to search Robert Holloway's home and Road Dog Cycle.

No proof, Holloway lawyer says

Pretrial Services, an agency that makes recommendations regarding whether defendants should be released, argued that Brent Holloway should be freed, but prosecutors interpreted the evidence differently.

"The weight of the evidence against the defendant is strong," according to the motion. "The defendant's past conduct clearly show a propensity for violence."

But Holloway's attorney argued in a July 23 memorandum that the government had not proved his client was a "flight risk" or a "danger to the community." They are among the factors considered when deciding if someone should remain in custody.

"The discovery produced by the government indicates that, at worst, defendant may have been aware of threats made by his father to attempt to collect debts owed by customers of the motorcycle shop," wrote attorney Richard B. Mazer of San Francisco.

Mazer argued that the charges against Brent Holloway related to alleged extortionate extensions of credit have not been considered in the past to be "crimes of violence" when determining bail.

"First, the nature and circumstances of the allegations reveal no allegation that Brent Holloway was actively engaged in acts of violence," Mazer wrote. "All alleged threats of violence are attributable to defendant's father. Second, the weight of the evidence proffered against Brent Holloway being involved in violence or extortion is extremely weak. Third, Brent Holloway has only a misdemeanor record of conviction for an offense which took place when he was 18 years of age, and he has the support among friends and family in the community."

Bee staff writer Emilie Raguso can be reached at eraguso@modbee.com or 578-2235.

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