April 23, 2011 in City

Hells Angels member indicted

By The Spokesman-Review
 

A grand jury has indicted a member of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang on federal drug and gun charges.

Michael Ryan Fitzpatrick, 33, is accused of conspiring with two unidentified people to distribute cocaine and marijuana.

Fitzpatrick was arrested on a marijuana charge March 3, the same day investigators searched the Hells Angels clubhouse, 1308 E. Sprague Ave., in what they said was an ongoing investigation.

He was allowed to leave jail the next day, and Spokane County prosecutors never formally charged him.

He’s expected to return to custody soon after a grand jury indicted him on charges of being a felon in possession of a firearm, conspiracy to manufacture 100 or more marijuana plants, conspiracy to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine, conspiracy to distribute marijuana, distribution of cocaine and three counts of distribution of marijuana.

He faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted.

Two others are charged with conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana, but their names are redacted in the indictment, which was returned on Wednesday and made available Friday.

Investigators seized marijuana plants the day of Fitzpatrick’s arrest – he and Patrick David Bozarth are accused of growing the marijuana beginning in October. The indictment alleges the cocaine distribution occurred between last April and December.

Bozarth pleaded not guilty to the charge on Thursday and was allowed to stay out of jail pending trial. He’ll be on home detention and monitored electronically.

Fitzpatrick, who has three felony convictions in Benton County, also is accused of possession of a Smith & Wesson .38-caliber revolver and a Kahr Arms .40-caliber pistol, as well as ammunition, on March 8.

The Spokane Regional Drug Task Force arranged at least one “controlled buy” with Fitzpatrick last fall, according to an affidavit filed in Superior Court.

They arrested him and searched the Hells Angels clubhouse in what police described as an ongoing effort to combat drug and illegal firearms activity by the group.

Few details have been released about the investigation, which until this week had only led to charges against Ricky W. Jenks, sergeant-at-arms for the Hells Angels’ Washington chapter.

Jenks remains in jail on a federal charge of felon in possession of a firearm for six loaded guns found at the clubhouse. Jenks was among those indicted in 2006 with now imprisoned chapter president Richard “Smilin’ Rick” Fabel.


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