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Hells Angel to remain jailed without bond

Tue., March 8, 2011, 5:38 p.m.

A ranking member of the Hells Angels will remain in jail without bail after his arrest last week on a federal gun charge.

Ricky W. Jenks, 33, poses a threat to the community based on his criminal history and the seriousness of the allegation, U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno said Tuesday before approving a request from the U.S. Attorney’s Office to keep Jenks in custody.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Van Marter said Jenks has a “disturbing history of violence” that includes manslaughter and has been aided by his association with the Hells Angels.

Jenks was the only person arrested at the outlaw motorcycle group’s Spokane headquarters, 1308 E. Sprague Ave., last Thursday. He’s prohibited from possessing firearms because of felony convictions; investigators say they found six loaded guns in the clubhouse, including one that had been reported stolen.

A jacket with Hells Angels sergeant-at-arms patches was found nearby.

Jenks was wearing that jacket when a detective stopped him on his Harley Davidson motorcycle about two weeks before the raid, Van Marter said.

The sergeant-at-arms is known as the gang’s “enforcer,” Van Marter said.

Five others at the clubhouse were not prohibited from possessing weapons, she said.

Hells Angel Michael R. Fitzpatrick, 33, was arrested on a marijuana charge at another location. He was released from jail on his own recognizance Thursday after appearing in Superior Court.

In addition to six firearms, investigators say they found two large bags of marijuana in the clubhouse.

Authorities will not say why they were authorized to search the clubhouse, but Van Marter told Imbrogno the investigation involves drugs and guns. A search warrant remains sealed.

Jenks’ lawyer, public defender Kailey Moran, said Jenks has a state prescription for medical marijuana that he’s willing to relinquish if released.

Van Marter said Jenks admitted to using meth on several occasions, but Moran said he only confessed to using the drug on one occasion several months ago.

Jenks’ did not begin associating with the Hells Angels again until after his probation, which prohibited such contact, ended in December 2009, Moran said.

Moran emphasized that Jenks always showed up for court hearings in a previous federal case. In that case, Jenks served 16 months in prison after he admitted to forcing a man to make regular cash and drug payments, then threatening him when he stopped paying. The same case led to a seven-year prison sentence for Hells Angels chapter president Richard “Smilin’ Rick” Fabel, who is scheduled to be released next year.

Moran said Jenks is employed at Fessco Fleet & Marine, and while he hasn’t worked recently because of an accident, the job still is available.

Jenks lived with his mother and stepfather in Spokane for three years before moving in with his girlfriend four months ago, Moran said.

Jenks’ family, including two young sons and his pregnant girlfriend, attended the hearing. They declined comment.

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