WA state prison guard is suspected violent biker gang leader
WALLA WALLA, Wash. (AP) — A corrections officer at a Washington state prison accused of having a leadership role in a violent motorcycle gang has been arrested on various charges.
Corrections officer Dustin Wendelin was arrested at the prison at 6 a.m. Thursday by the Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office with help from regional law enforcement partners, The Tri-City Herald reported.
A second accused outlaw gang leader, Charles Montgomery, was arrested later Thursday at his home nearby in Umatilla County, Oregon, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.
“Intelligence generated from traffic stops in Walla Walla County led to a joint investigation into two local members of the Pagan’s 1% Outlaw Motorcycle Gang,” the news release said.
Attempts to reach lawyers who could comment for the men were not immediately successful on Friday.
Sheriff’s officials collaborated on the investigation for several months with the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office in Griffin, Georgia, and with federal law enforcement partners.
The Pagans frequently participate in violent crime, trafficking and racketeering, according to the sheriff’s office. In the last several months, Pagan members across the country are suspected of participating in bombings, shootings, felonious assaults, and homicides, according to sheriff’s officials.
Both Wendelin and Montgomery are indicted in Georgia on charges of aggravated assault, aggravated battery and three counts each of violations of the Street Gang Terrorism and Prevention Act.
Sheriff’s officials said Wendelin and Montgomery hold leadership positions in a local Pagan’s chapter.
Prosecutors will seek their extradition to Georgia as the first step in a joint investigation into the West Coast Pagan’s gang, officials said. Multiple local, state and federal agencies are involved in the case, and officials said other charges are possible.