AZ. Raids Target Guns, Drug Trafficking, Bomb-Making, Murder for Hire
Dennis Wagner, The Arizona Republic
One man was wounded and dozens arrested this morning in law enforcement raids across Arizona that targeted outlaw bikers suspected of bomb-making, murder for hire and narcotics violations.
Carlos Baixauli, an agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said more than 500 law enforcement officers took part in the operation, serving warrants on Hells Angels Motorcycle Club members and other organized crime suspects.
Baixauli said one man was wounded when he confronted Glendale police SWAT officers as they entered the clubhouse for the Hells Angels' Cave Creek chapter in the 1100 block of West Ironwood Drive in Phoenix. The shooting victim, whose name was not released, was being treated at a hospital.
Baixauli said this morning's raids culminated a two-year investigation by Phoenix police and BATFE agents who infiltrated criminal gangs with three undercover officers. He said 40 search warrants and 36 arrest warrants were served in the synchronized raids that began at 4:45 a.m.
The list of targets ranged from Kingman to Tucson to Bullhead City, and included Hells Angels' clubhouses in Phoenix, Flagstaff and Chino Valley. Assault teams entered homes and other buildings in search of machine guns, bombs and drugs.
Suspect names were not immediately released, but Bauxauli said Ralph "Sonny" Barger of Cave Creek, iconic leader of the worldwide Hells Angels organization, was not among those arrested.
Details of the case were to be released later in the day in a search warrant affidavit and during a news conference planned by federal investigators.
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