From staff reports
Spokane Police officers in SWAT gear and federal law enforcement agents served a search warrant at the Hells Angels motorcycle clubhouse on East Sprague Thursday morning.
About 10 officers in tactical gear could be seen outside the structure in the 1300 block of East Sprague Avenue just before noon Thursday morning. The front door of the club had been breached, and Sprague and Pacific avenues were closed to traffic.
Spokane Police Cpl. Nick Briggs confirmed Thursday morning that SWAT officers served the warrant as part of a joint investigation with several federal law enforcement agencies.
Briggs declined to name the federal agencies. An FBI spokesman said the agency was not involved. A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security in Seattle declined to comment, citing “an ongoing investigation.”
No one was injured during the incident, Briggs said.
Briggs said he could not release additional information Thursday afternoon, citing the ongoing investigation.
Across the street, the clerk at the Bel-Air 7 Motel, Scott Bauguess, said he was having his morning cup of coffee at about 8 a.m. when he heard an officer announce over a loud speaker that they had a warrant.
Bauguess held his breath, hoping it wasn’t for a guest at the motel, he said Thursday. He quickly realized the warrant was for the clubhouse across the street.
The clubhouse’s metal gate hit the ground, then officers breached the door using their BearCat armored vehicle, Bauguess said. There was a series of loud noises as officers broke through the building’s other door, Bauguess said. He said the windows of the building were blown out.
Bauguess didn’t see anyone or anything removed from the building as he watched from across the street.
The Hells Angels have been neighbors of Bauguess and his wife, Sally Bauguess, who owns the motel, for 10 years. The group has events occasionally but “it’s usually fairly quiet over there,” Scott Bauguess said.
“I think they just got punched in the mouth a bit,” he said.
The clubhouse has been the subject of federal law enforcement scrutiny in the past. In 2011, agents raided the location as part of the arrest of Ricky Warren Jenks, a leader of the outlaw motorcycle gang.
This story is developing and will be updated.
Kip Hill can be reached at (509) 459-5429 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.