Biker gang probe nets 34 arrests in 6 states


A two-year undercover investigation of the Warlocks Outlaw motorcycle gang closed yesterday with authorities announcing the arrests of 34 people in six states, including six individuals in Maryland.

Agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who launched the probe by infiltrating a Warlocks group in western Virginia, executed nearly 50 search warrants over the past two days. One was at the North Beach Clubhouse of the Hells Angels in Calvert County.

The investigation, which also reached West Virginia, Florida, New York and South Carolina, found more than 120 firearms, including sawed-off shotguns and machine guns.

Agents also recovered more than $25,000 in cash, body armor and large amounts of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine, authorities said.

In Maryland, ATF officials said two high-ranking members of the Hells Angels state chapter -- John Beal of Dunkirk and Lewis Hall of Owings -- were charged with federal firearms and drug violations as well as conspiracy charges.

Two other Maryland men also face federal gun charges -- Tracey Hall of Owings and Cornelius Alexander III of Waldorf. Authorities said William Radford and Natalie Payne, both of Owings, would face state drug charges.

The multistate investigation began with agents in Virginia who detected large amounts of methamphetamine sales that were traced to the biker gang, authorities said.

Two undercover ATF agents joined the Warlocks gang in Virginia, following a pattern by the agency that has brought down biker gang leaders across the country.

In Baltimore, ATF Special Agent in Charge Theresa R. Stoop said in a statement that the agency is "well aware of the increased growth and sophistication of outlaw motorcycle gangs," and praised the efforts of state and local police in helping with the investigation in Maryland.

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