Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Nevada Rally Cancelled After Gang Violence Verdict

Possible violence between rival motorcycle clubs has prompted the cancellation of a charity motorcycle rally in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The organizers of "Rock the Canyon" say the FBI was worried about safety, due to recent run-ins between members of motorcycle clubs from outside the Las Vegas area.

The rally and festival was originally scheduled for July at the Las Vegas Ski Resort, but was postponed due to wildfire evacuations. The rally was set to help with wildfire cleanup efforts, and was also supposed to benefit a local foundation that help needy families.

The recent run-ins between outside motorcycle clubs had nothing to do with the organizers of the event, the charity it was supposed to benefit or any other local motorcycle clubs, according to a TV 8 - Las Vegas news update. The rally was cancelled due to concerns by local law enforcement that the charity event could become the stage for violence between outside clubs.

Jethro Pettigrew
Aug. 7, 2013 - A member of the Vagos Motorcycle Club was found guilty of killing one of the highest ranking members of the Hells Angels in a 2011 casino shootout during the   Street Vibrations rally in Reno. 

Ernesto Gonzalez was found guilty in the shooting death of Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew, president of the Hells Angels' chapter in San Jose, California.  The shootout on a busy casino floor at John Ascuaga's Nugget in Sparks on Sept. 23, 2011 involved several members of the rival motorcycle clubs.

Ernesto Gonzalez
Gonzalez is a member of the Vagos' chapter in San Jose and is also the ex-president of the Vagos' Nicaraguan chapter. He was found guilty on six counts, including murder to benefit a gang. He faces life in prison and is scheduled to be sentenced on October 3rd.

Another member of the Hells Angels was gunned down in broad daylight at Pettigrew's funeral on Oct. 15, 2011. Steve Tausan, 52, a bail bondsman and sergeant-at-arms for the Hell's Angels was reportendly shot in front of dozens of law enforcement officers and thousands of mourners at Oak Hill Memorial Park. An area state of emergency was declared when he died a short while later. These shootings followed violence at the 2011 Sturgis Rally.

Read Story: Reno and Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Violence 2011