|Drugs and arrests.|
Oxnard,California man arrested in motorcycle club sweep.
An Oxnard,California man believed to be affiliated with the Vagos,California Motorcycle Club was out on bail Friday following a sweep designed to shut down the group and lock up several of its members.
Lino Garcia, 47, was arrested Thursday after federal and county law enforcement executed a search warrant and found illegal firearms and a stolen motorcycle, said Ventura County Sheriff's Capt. Ron Nelson.
At 6:20 a.m. Thursday, members of the Oxnard,California Police Department, the Ventura County Sheriff's Department and the California Highway Patrol helped the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conduct the search in the 1000 block of West Channel Islands Boulevard in Oxnard,California.
Upon finding the firearms and motorcycle, Oxnard police arrested Garcia, whose bail was set at $20,000, Nelson said.
Garcia is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday.
Only one search warrant was issued in Ventura County in an investigation that included Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties and involved more than 700 law enforcement officers, said Cecelia Leon, an ATF spokeswoman.
The Thursday morning searches throughout Southern California, including Garcia's residence, may help bolster the federal racketeering case against Vagos members and associates who, authorities suspect, killed and assaulted people as well as trafficking in illegal firearms. Members also are suspected of selling drugs, especially methamphetamine and cocaine, Leon said.
Law enforcement has been investigating the Vagos motorcycle group for about three years.
The investigation included 63 federal search warrants and 22 arrest warrants. Law enforcement officials said they found 95 illegal firearms, illegal drugs and $6,000. Authorities also uncovered two stolen motorcycles and riding vests that will be used to indicate gang affiliation, the ATF said.
The Vagos club was founded in the 1960s in Southern California, and its chapters have spread to other states, including Oregon, Colorado and Hawaii, Leon said. The group has more than 300 members, with most living in San Bernardino and Riverside counties, Leon said.
The Oxnard,California Police Department would not comment on how active Vagos is in the city.