KOBI News is reporting that the “GREEN NATION”, aka the Vagos Motorcycle Club is holding a west coast “meeting” in Grants Pass this weekend (August 9-10). Their signature “colors” – shades of green and a red demon caricature of Loki, the Norse god of mischief will be “flying” in southern Oregon.
Should we care? I’m not so sure, but given all the historical issues (dating back to 1999 and mostly bad) and the hefty fines, I find it curious the Vagos decided to hold a meeting in Josephine county again. Sure, it’s a free country…at least the last time I checked the First Amendment was alive and well, but the bad blood and community fears of violence will surely loom over the event and may cause an overreaction from Sheriff Gil Gilbertson…similar to Sheriff Dave Daniels days. Why risk police stops for “DWV” – driving while Vagos?
The group plans to meet at Schroeder Park, just outside of Grants Pass. Vagos MC member, Harry Hart (a Dentist in CA.) claims they are a “motorcycle family who come together and associate with one another and the police have it all wrong”…”it’s blown all out of proportion”.
I’m a bit skeptical and have written about colors flying in Oregon previously. The Vagos MC is identified as an outlaw motorcycle gang (OMG) in the CA. Organized Crime Annual Report and the DOJ states:
The Vagos Motorcycle Club (Vagos) has hundreds of members in the U.S. and Mexico and poses a serious criminal threat to those areas in which its chapters are located. U.S. law enforcement authorities report that the Vagos have approximately 300 members among 24 chapters located in the states of California, Hawaii, Nevada, Oregon and three chapters located in Mexico. The Vagos produce, transport and distribute methamphetamine and are also involved in the distribution of marijuana. The Vagos have also been implicated in other criminal activities including assault, extortion, insurance fraud, money laundering, murder, vehicle theft, witness intimidation and weapons violations. In the U.S., the Vagos are mainly active in the Southwest and Pacific regions.
Before I get a bunch of comments about taking too many falls without a helmet, let me just say I know one member breaking the law is one thing and to paint an entire club or over-generalize is quite another. But I also know that OMG want to give the impression they are a just a harmless riding club. Maybe its because so many states are doing what California is, once linked to a gang, the penalty for a crime is much more severe.
Here’s my point. I’m not passing judgement, but hope the Vagos MC members avoid big trouble in a small town so the state can avoid an enormous waste of taxpayer dollars and focus on higher profile criminally active street gangs.
Photo courtesy of Venice Beach org.