A five-year-long federal murder investigation into the Sonoma County Hells Angels is also prosecuting several Angels on other lesser charges, like the two just sentenced for a series of beatings and the robbery of a marijuana grow.
The Hells Angels have done plenty to clean up their act, with charitable events like holiday toy drives and feeding the needy on Thanksgiving. But it didn’t help their reputation when the Sonoma County chapter saw 11 members charged in 2017 with what the Department of Justice describes as “wide-ranging crimes including murder, narcotics distribution, assault, robbery, extortion, illegal firearms possession, and obstruction of justice.”
The worst of those charges were finally litigated last April, when three Sonoma chapter members were sentenced to life in prison over the 2014 murder and illegal cremation of a member they felt was out of line. But some lesser racketeering and other sentences are still being handed down, as the Bay Area News Group reports two more Sonoma Hells Angels have been sentenced in robbery and extortion cases.
Per the News Group, 41-year-old Damien Cesena was sentenced to 52 months (about four-and-a-half years) for his role in the home invasion and robbery of a Sonoma County marijuana grow. His accomplice in that one, Jeremy Greer, faces far more serious charges of maiming and assault with a deadly weapon.
As Courthouse News described at the time of the indictments, “Prosecutors say defendants Damien Cesena and Jeremy Greer broke into a home with guns and stole a large amount of marijuana in 2015. In December 2016, the pair – along with others from the Sonoma County chapter – stole marijuana and cash from an unnamed victim and then repeatedly intimidated him, including one incident where gang members followed him in a vehicle stocked with guns, handcuffs, a homemade club with nails driven into it, bolt cutters and clown masks.”
50-year-old David Salvatore Diaz was sentenced to 30 months. As the Bay Area News Group explains, Diaz “admitted to taking property back from a Hells Angels member who was being kicked out of the club. According to the plea agreement, Diaz drove to the victim’s home and took back various items with the Hells Angels insignia. Meanwhile, the man was being beaten for several hours at the Hells Angels Sonoma clubhouse. Diaz did not participate in the beating.”
Both Cesena and Diaz had pleaded out, and per the terms of their plea deal, neither would face a sentence of longer than five years. Greer and two other Angels are expected to be sentenced in April, and have also taken plea deals with the feds.
Image: STRATFORD-UPON-AVON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Hells Angel and Bulldog Bash press officer Echo talks to the media during setting up of this year's Bulldog bash at Long Marston Airfield on August 5, 2009 in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. The annual festival of bikers is going ahead this weekend despite police concerns of an escalation in violence between two rival biker gangs. Organisers said the allegations were unfounded. Seven men were jailed for the murder of Gerry Tobin, a Hells Angel shot dead on the M40 two years ago as he returned from the Bulldog Bash. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)