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Gang Expert Surprised By ‘Hell’s Lovers’ Arrests In Denver

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(credit: U.S. Department of Justice)

(credit: U.S. Department of Justice)

DENVER (CBS4) – Nineteen people are in custody after a 6-year investigation into a Motorcycle gang. It’s part of a federal indictment involving the Hell’s Lovers Motorcycle Club.

CBS4 was there when several arrests went down late Friday night. Federal agents say six people are still at large.

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Defendants faced a judge Monday. The Department of Justice says the 19 people listed in the federal indictment are now being held without bond because they’re considered a flight risk or a danger to the community.

Drugs and guns — that’s why federal agents raided the Denver club house at 41st and Garfield. A neighbor said members of the club house were often there with their families having barbeques.

“(There were) older gentlemen with their kids and their grandkids,” a neighbor who didn’t want to be identified said. “I’m very surprised. These were nice people.”

The federal indictment says various arrests of Hell’s Lovers members turned up firearms, cash, ammunition and drugs.

Agents say the Hell’s Lovers members would gather at various club houses where they used and distributed cocaine and marijuana.

“They’re mainly older, African-American gentlemen,” Terrance Roberts with the Prodigal Son Initiative said.

Roberts is a local gang expert who works to dismantle metro gangs. He says the Hell’s Lovers have been around since the 1960s, originating from Chicago.

“They’ve even had some guys from younger gang systems … traditionally Bloods and Crips, even do community service-based projects with these older men and recruit them too, so this is a shock. It’s a surprise. We viewed these guys as elderly men,” Roberts said.

Agents say when they searched member Corey Riley’s home they found 300 grams of cocaine, 4 kilograms of marijuana, ammunition, and several loaded firearms in proximity to illegal drugs, drug paraphernalia and more than $10,000.

At Richard Johnson’s home 100 rounds of 9mm ammunition and a sawed off shot gun were found.

“I felt safe that they would protect me, but now they are gone,” the neighbor said.

All of the 19 defendants will be back in court on Jan. 26 for either a preliminary hearing or arraignment.

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