Department of Justice Investigation Results in Three Arrests for Conspiracy to Commit Murder

Friday, October 15, 2004
Contact: (916) 210-6000,

(SACRAMENTO) – State and local officers today arrested three members of the Vagos Motorcyle Club on charges of conspiring to murder a fourth member of the outlaw motorcycle gang. The arrests were the result of an ongoing California Department of Justice (DOJ) investigation into alleged gang and drug trafficking activities of several Vagos members. The six-month-investigation already had resulted in 26 arrests and the seizure of more than $127,000 in cash and illegal drugs and guns.

Arrested at their homes today were Vagos Placer County Chapter president James Cross, 33, of Fair Oaks; and two chapter members, Ryan Patrick Hill, 26, of Carmichael; and Nicholas Matteson, 23, of Citrus Heights. Booked into Sacramento County Jail, the three are suspected of soliciting another individual to kill a Vagos member whom they feared would retaliate against them because they planned to leave the Vagos and join the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club.

Assisting DOJ in the arrests and the investigation were officers with the California Highway Patrol (CHP), Placer County Sheriff's Office and the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office.

Since the investigation began in April 2004, DOJ firearms and narcotics agents, assisted by officers from other state and local law enforcement agencies, arrested 25 adults and one minor on various drug-related charges, including conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine and steroids. Information developed during the investigation resulted in Sacramento County Sheriff's deputies charging Richard Gama, 37, of West Sacramento, with a homicide in Rio Linda on August 12, 2004.

The investigation to date has resulted in the seizure of more than $518,000 worth of drugs, including marijuana, methamphetamine, narcotics and steroids; 21 handguns, including eight that were stolen; three assault weapons, including one that was stolen; one fully automatic machine gun; six shotguns, including one illegal sawed-off shotgun; eight rifles; more than $127,000 in cash; 17 Harley Davidson motorcycles, including seven that were stolen; nine vehicles, including two Hummer H2s; two boats; and a motor home.

In addition to the four agencies involved in today's arrests, the following law enforcement agencies have assisted in the ongoing investigation: Sacramento County District Attorney's Office, Sacramento Police Department, El Dorado County Sheriff's Office, California Department of Corrections, Placer County Drug Task Force, Yuba-Sutter Narcotics Task Force, Yolo County Narcotics Task Force, West Sacramento Police Department and Sacramento County Probation Department.

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