Feds, officers hit cycle shop second time

An FBI task force entered Road Dog Cycle shop a second time. The first raid, pictured, was a week ago. Bart Ah You/The Modesto Bee
An FBI task force entered Road Dog Cycle shop a second time. The first raid, pictured, was a week ago. Bart Ah You/The Modesto Bee Modesto Bee

DENAIR -- For the second time in a week, federal agents and members of a valley gang task force descended on Road Dog Cycle on Thursday afternoon. Unlike the previous Friday, when investigators used force to gain entry to the motorcycle shop as well as the home of the owner's son, they came and went without much commotion.

What investigators with the Central Valley Gang Impact Task Force were looking for is confidential because search warrants signed by a federal judge in Sacramento have been sealed. FBI spokesman Steve Dupre said Thursday that he could not comment.

Road Dog Cycle specializes in Harley-Davidson motorcycles and parts. It is owned by Robert Cliff Holloway, 60, a former Stanislaus County sheriff's deputy who retired on disability in 1985 and gained notoriety in 2001 when he was acquitted of a murder charge.

According to Holloway and a nearby business owner, investigators clad in FBI jackets arrived Thursday about 4 p.m. and left about an hour later. The shop is on Main Street just north of Santa Fe Avenue.

Holloway would not say what, if anything, was taken. He referred further questions to his attorney, Kirk McAllister of Modesto. McAllister could not be reached for comment Thursday night.

Holloway said Thursday's search did not result in damage, unlike the search on the morning of Feb. 1, when agents broke the front doors to gain entry.

"They caused about $10,000 worth of damage," he said.

Owner lists raid damage

Holloway said agents used a crowbar to break off a piece of a black iron security door before they broke the glass doorway. He said they also used a flash-bang grenade, which is used to disorient anyone inside. But Holloway said nobody was at the business during last week's raid, which began about 7:30 a.m.

The doors have been repaired.

Holloway also said flying glass last week damaged several motorcycles that were inside the shop, including the paint job of a customized burgundy Indian motorcycle.

Dennis McWells, owner of Denair Meat Service, said he saw about a dozen vehicles Thursday outside the motorcycle shop. McWells and his wife rent their building from Holloway.

"I saw (the investigators) walking around, but then they just all left," McWells said.

By 5:15 p.m., business had returned to normal as customers looked at the motorcycles for sale outside and Holloway answered phone calls inside.

Last week, task force members searched Road Dog, Holloway's residence in Turlock and his son's home west of Modesto.

No one was in Brent Holloway's home, so agents broke down the door and swarmed the house and a garage where Holloway rebuilt motorcycles and kept spare parts, said neighbor Bill Bashor.

Probes linked? No comment

As the day wore on, investigators loaded two computers and other items into sport utility vehicles, Bashor said.

FBI officials have declined to comment when asked whether the raids are linked to another federal investigation involving Stanislaus County sheriff's Capt. Raul DeLeon, 50, who was placed on paid administrative leave in early December. Search warrants in the DeLeon case also are sealed.

Holloway retired from the Sheriff's Department on a medical disability in 1985 after a drunken driver slammed head-on into his patrol car.

Holloway's wife, Kathryn, worked for the Sheriff's Department from 1980 to 2005, including a stint as a secretary for DeLeon.

In July 1997, Holloway confronted a career criminal who tried to rob his motorcycle shop, accidentally shooting and killing the man during a scuffle. Prosecutors filed a murder charge, but a jury returned a not guilty verdict in 2001.

Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at rahumada@modbee.com or 578-2394.

Related stories from Modesto Bee