Crime

Hells Angel associate arrested in 2015 murder north of Denair

Detectives investigate the scene where a man was found suffering from a fatal gunshot wound Tuesday near Denair.
Detectives investigate the scene where a man was found suffering from a fatal gunshot wound Tuesday near Denair. Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department

A more than year-long investigation into the Modesto Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, which already has resulted in federal drug charges against high-ranking members, on Tuesday led to the arrest of a suspect in a 2015 homicide.

Hells Angel associate Jeffrey Velthoen, 35, was arrested on suspicion of killing 25-year-old Steven Losey on Feb. 17, 2015.

A bystander found Losey suffering from gunshot wounds in a pickup after seeing him driving erratically, then crashing off the road near the intersection of Santa Fe Avenue and Berkeley Road. Losey later died at a hospital.

Velthoen was arrested at his Modesto home in the 2000 block of Terrance Way, northeast of Norwegian and McHenry avenues, said Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Sgt. Josh Clayton.

It was one of four Modesto locations searched Tuesday morning by the Central Valley Gang Intelligence Task Force, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department and the Modesto Police Department.

The search warrants were based on information received through the task force — made up of multiple local police agencies, the FBI and the District Attorney’s Office — about marijuana manufacturing and sales, as part of a long-term investigation of the Hells Angels and their associates.

Also arrested Tuesday were Modesto residents Bradley Botelho, 35, on suspicion of manufacturing a controlled substance and being a felon in possession of ammunition, and David Thayer, 34, on suspicion of cultivation of marijuana, possession of marijuana for sale and being a felon in possession of firearms and ammunition. Both are also Hells Angel associates, Clayton said.

In July, as part of the same ongoing investigation, the president of the Modesto Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, his wife and two others were federally charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute methamphetamine.

In September, the club’s vice president, its secretary, and another member were indicted on federal drug and weapon charges.

Anyone with information on the homicide is asked to contact Sheriff’s Department Detective Cory Brown at 209-567-4485 or District Attorney Investigator Alex Bettis at 209-595-0342.

Erin has been covering breaking news and crime at The Modesto Bee since 2010. She is a Humboldt State graduate and resides in Oakdale.
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