March 5, 2009 in City

Hells Angel’s conviction upheld

By The Spokesman-Review

A federal appeals court has upheld the 2007 racketeering and conspiracy conviction of Richard “Smilin’ Rick” Fabel, who at the time was the president of the Spokane-based chapter of the Hells Angels.

While upholding a jury’s verdict, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a 90-month prison sentence given Fabel in September 2007 by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Lasnik of the Western District of Washington.

He presided over the 10-week trial in Seattle over Fabel and three other members of the outlaw motorcycle gang.

No date for resentencing has been set.

The sentencing judge erred in calculating Fabel’s “offense level” when the court determined an extortion victim in the racketeering conspiracy had a loss exceeding $10,000, the appeals court held.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Mike Lang urged the court to impose a 10-year sentence and said last week he will renew that recommendation when Fabel is re-sentenced.

Fabel, 51, currently is being held at the Federal Correctional Facility at Terminal Island, Calif., with a scheduled release date of November 2013.

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