A 51-year-old Vacaville man who is a member of the Vallejo chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle club returns in the coming months to a federal courtroom in Sacramento for more proceedings in a firearms case.
Dennis Killough Jr., indicted earlier this year by a federal grand jury and who appeared in court last week, is charged with being a felon in possession of two different firearms and will be back in court for a rescheduled status conference on Jan. 9.
In custody in Sacramento County Jail without bail, he is one of three Solano County men in the outlaw motorcycle club’s Vallejo chapter facing firearms charges.
Jaime Alvarez, a Vallejo man who is in his early 50s, also was charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm but has been released from custody. He returns to court at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.
Also released from custody, Michael Mahoney of Fairfield, who in in his late 20s or early 30s, has pleaded not guilty to two felony firearms charges and returns for a status conference Tuesday in Judge John A. Mendez’s courtroom.
All were indicted based on an investigation into a brutal beating in the Vallejo chapter’s clubhouse.
At his June 1 arraignment, Killough entered a not-guilty plea, and he was scheduled for a court appearance in front of Chief District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller, according to information from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Eastern District of California.
Alvarez was arraigned on May 31, but on June 1 he was ordered released on a $200,000 secured bond, court records show.
According to court documents, in October 2021, two different victims — both of whom were members of a different motorcycle club that is considered a “puppet,” or subordinate, club of the Hells Angels — were allegedly beaten by Killough, Alvarez, and other club members based on perceived infractions of Hells Angels’ rules, said Phillip A. Talbert, the U.S. Attorney for the DOJ’s Eastern District.
Court documents also showed that, on Dec. 8, 2021, law enforcement searched Killough’s home and found two firearms, including a Taurus G2C 9 mm pistol with an obliterated serial number and a Taurus PT 745 Pro handgun. Killough has several prior felony convictions — including previous firearm convictions — which, by law, prohibit him from possessing any firearms or ammunition.
According to court documents, on Dec. 8, 2021, a search warrant executed at Alvarez’s home yielded several firearms, including a Glock 27 .40 SW caliber handgun. Alvarez has several prior felony convictions — including a prior conviction for possessing a dangerous weapon — which, likewise, prohibit him from possessing any firearms and ammunition.
These cases are the product of investigations by the Solano County District Attorney’s Office, the Solano County Sheriff’s Office, the Vacaville Police Department, the Vallejo Police Department, the FBI, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Aaron D. Pennekamp and Jason Hitt are prosecuting the cases.
If convicted, Killough and Alvarez face a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court and federal sentencing guidelines.
If convicted of possessing a firearm with an obliterated or altered serial number, Mahoney faces a maximum term of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. And if convicted of possessing an unregistered short-barreled shotgun, Mahoney faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The cases are part of the joint federal, state, and local Project Safe Neighborhoods Program, the centerpiece of the DOJ’s violent crime-reduction efforts. PSN “focuses enforcement efforts on the most violent offenders and partners with locally-based prevention and reentry programs for lasting reductions in crime,” noted Talbert.
Founded in 1948, the Hells Angels is a worldwide outlaw motorcycle club whose members typically ride Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The Vallejo chapter, at one time considered the enforcer for the Oakland chapter — founded by the late Ralph “Sonny” Barger who later became the club’s de facto leader — was notorious for two members’ involvement in an Oct. 5, 1986, mass murder of a family of four, including two children, ages 5 and 17, in Fort Bragg. It was a crime that made national headlines on Oct. 7, one day after two members of the Sonoma County chapter traveled to Fort Bragg and, at night, burned down a house near Highway 20 with the four bodies inside.