Source AP ©

Hells Angels racketeering trial is in full swing

A prosecutor asked jurors to pierce the code of silence surrounding the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club and make four of the biker gang's members responsible for crimes ranging from trafficking in stolen bikes to assault and murder.

Chapter president Richard Allen Fabel, 49, is accused of directing others to participate in the crimes. "It defies all common sense to think the president of the club didn't know what its members were doing," Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Lang said.

The defendants each could face life in prison if convicted.

Lang told jurors the two most serious crimes charged - a killing and a near-killing - were designed to punish people who falsely claimed membership.

In 2001, Rodney Lee Rollness, 46, and Joshua Binder, 31, killed Michael "Santa" Walsh during a raucous party because he had pretended to be a Hells Angel, then rolled his body up in a carpet and dumped it in a nearby ditch, Lang said.

For the killing, Rollness and Binder received coveted "Filthy Few" patches for their vests, signifying that they had killed for the organization, Lang said.

And two years before that, Rollness and Binder paid a visit to Leonard "Funny Sunny" Sellig for claiming to be a Hells Angel, Lang said. Rollness clubbed him with a hammer, the prosecutor said.

Defense attorneys for the men were scheduled to give their closing arguments Monday afternoon and Tuesday. They have tried to portray the government's case as "grand theater" based on unreliable testimony from what they called drug-addicted liars and crooks.

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