Bakersfield Hells Angels chapter arrested for kidnapping, robbery

The entire biker gang was busted on several violent charges as law enforcement seized guns and ammunition.

The entire chapter of the Bakersfield Hells Angels biker gang was arrested on Tuesday on various violent charges. 

A joint investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the Kern County Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway Patrol resulted in six people arrested on Tuesday, joining a seventh who was already in the custody of law enforcement. 


The big picture: The members arrested were Ricardo Alvarez, 42, Armando Villasenor, 55, Joseph Soto Sr., 57, Joseph Soto Jr. 33, Joshua Zavala, 31 and John Seager, 57. 

  • Joshua Vaugh, 37, was already in custody on other charges. All seven suspects are residents of Bakersfield. 
  • Authorities also executed eight search warrants at various locations throughout Bakersfield. 

Go deeper: Over 150 law enforcement personnel seized around 25 firearms, ammunition, multiple high-capacity magazines and gang affiliated paraphernalia. 

  • Alvarez, Villasenor, Soto Sr., Soto Jr. and Zavala are active, patched members of the Bakersfield chapter of the Hells Angels. 
  • Vaughn and Seeger are members of the Sons of Hell Motorcycle Club, a sub-affiliate that takes orders and direction from the Hells Angels. 

State of play: All of the suspects were charged with kidnapping, first degree robbery, criminal threats, false imprisonment, assault with a firearm, participation in a criminal street gang, criminal conspiracy, intimidating a witness or victim and elder abuse. 

  • They were booked into the Kern County Sheriff’s Office Lerdo Facility. 
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