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Judge questions plea deal for Hells Angels member

Thu., Aug. 4, 2011

Agreement calls for two-year term

Hells Angels sergeant-at-arms Ricky W. Jenks pleaded guilty Wednesday to being a felon possessing a firearm, but the federal judge handling the case said he wants more time before accepting the plea that calls for two years in prison.

U.S. District Judge Justin Quackenbush questioned why federal prosecutors accepted the agreement for only two years in prison when Jenks faced twice that prison time had the case proceeded to trial.

“I have indicated I have reservations about a two-year sentence given your criminal history,” Quackenbush told Jenks, who has two previous felony convictions, one for manslaughter.

He ordered defense attorney Tracy Collins and Assistant U.S. Attorney Aine Ahmed to submit written arguments within a week as to why they agreed to the plea agreement.

If the judge decides not to accept the agreement, he said the matter would be scheduled for trial, which had been set to begin Monday.

“I realize the government has some problems,” said the judge, referring to the lack of connection between DNA found on the guns and Jenks.

Ahmed said he understood that the sentencing recommendation is less than half the time Jenks faced at trial.

“Realistically, I can tell you the U.S. government’s primary concern is dragging people in here who don’t want to be here,” Ahmed said.

At the hearing, Jenks, 33, acknowledged he owned one of several guns found March 3 at the motorcycle gang’s clubhouse, at 1308 E. Sprague Ave. Because he is a convicted felon, he’s barred from possessing guns or ammunition.

Jenks served as the gang’s sergeant-at-arms, which according to previous testimony meant that he served as the gang’s “enforcer.”

“I’ll accept your plea of guilty but reserve determination whether or not to accept the plea agreement,” Quackenbush said. He set sentencing for Oct. 7, provided he accepts the plea.

At the end of the hearing, Collins asked that the judge release Jenks for a short time or grant him a furlough so that Jenks could help his girlfriend, who is undergoing a “difficult pregnancy.”

Quackenbush said he needed more information about the availability of other family members and a doctor’s explanation of her condition.

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