Watch FBI serve warrants in Modesto, Salida
The president of the Modesto Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, his wife and two others on Tuesday were charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine, according to the US Attorney’s Office.
As part of the investigation, officers served search warrants on Tuesday in seven locations in Stanislaus County, including the clubhouse of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club on Seventh Street in downtown Modesto.
Charged in the criminal complaint are Modesto residents Randy Picchi, 61, president of the club; his wife Tina Picchi, 51; Michael Mize, 61; and Michael Pack, 32, a prospect with the club. Randy Picchi, Tina Picci, and Mize were arrested Tuesday and are in custody. Pack’s whereabouts are unclear.
According to court documents, Randy Picchi was the leader of a drug ring and his wife Tina Picchi regularly delivered drugs to Mize and other individuals in Ceres.
Randy Picchi also enlisted Pack to obtain methamphetamine on at least one occasion in April. Pack was stopped by Modesto Police while on his way to Mize’s residence and found to be in possession of 499 grams of methamphetamine.
On another occasion, Randy Picchi directed Tina Picchi to drive from Modesto to Redding to deliver methamphetamine to a customer, according to court documents.
On the way, Tina Picchi was stopped by law enforcement and found with approximately 4 ounces of methamphetamine, which was wrapped in a plastic glove and hidden in a cup of soda.
If convicted, each defendant faces a maximum statutory penalty of life in prison, a mandatory minimum 10 years in prison and a $10 million fine. They are scheduled to appear in federal court in Fresno on Wednesday.
Claire White, an attorney with Dope Law Group in Oakland, represents the Hells Angels as a group. Because none of the suspects have obtained individual counsel she could not yet comment on the charges but spoke in general about the searches.
“They seized all kinds of stuff,” Claire White said, including Hells Angels-branded clothing and stickers. “Basically, merchandise. Hells Angels is a corporation and sells all kinds of merchandise.” She said she has no idea why the property was taken.
At the motorcycle club’s building, ATF and FBI agents carried off several plastic bags containing seized property. They also carried away three motorcycles after loading them onto two flatbed tow trucks.
The Hells Angels members at the clubhouse appeared cooperative with the authorities. “These guys are smart,” White said of her clients. “Most of them are military veterans, and a lot have families. No one is trying to start trouble.”
According to the US Attorney’s Office, the case was part of an Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force program, which was established in 1982 to conduct comprehensive, multilevel attacks on major drug trafficking and money laundering organizations.
“The principal mission of the OCDETF program is to identify, disrupt, and dismantle the most serious drug trafficking and money laundering organizations and those primarily responsible for the nation’s drug supply,” a press release reads.