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Friday, August 17, 2012

First Slice 8/17/12: Roving motorcycle gangs

1) In what could have been a scene from the season finale of Sons of Anarchy, the FBI and local law enforcement arrested 23 members of the Outlaw Motorcycle Club and affiliates across north Georgia on federal drugs and weapons charges yesterday. Most of the action seems to have taken place in the Gainesville area, but the investigation also included raids on an Outlaw clubhouse in southwest Atlanta and one in Buford.

“The charges unsealed today allege that these motorcycle club members engaged in substantial drug trafficKing and weapons offenses,” US Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said in a release. “This case is a big step forward in maKing sure that these groups don’t threaten the safety of our North Georgia communities.”

Even though some high ranking members, like the president of the Outlaw’s Silver Region (which covers Georgia and Alabama), face charges in the bust, investigators were quick to point out that the illegal actions were taken by individuals, and “do not allege that any of the criminal acts were performed on behalf of the motorcycle gangs or as an official part of membership in the gangs.”

Most of the charges dealt with transporting or selling methamphetamines and cocaine, and providing guns to or possessing guns as convicted felons, but there were also a couple of obstruction of justice charges and two guys trying to make a bomb.

2) For all those that love to hate PARKatlanta, some operational changes for the private company licensed to ticket you on public property could be in the works. Yesterday, Richard Mendoza, the honcho liaison between the city and PARKatlanta, signed 11Alive’s parking “Bill of Rights.” Mendoza said some of the first things on the agenda are updates to the city's mission and vision for parking management and a clarification of the parking ticket appeal process.

3) Two jailers up in Oconee County are out of jobs following “inappropriate communications” with a female inmate, including good old-fashioned sex talk and sending Facebook friend requests to the 23-year-old while she was still locked up.

4) Authorities are looking at former University of Georgia football coach Jim Donnan in connection with a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme. Donnan allegedly used his influence to convince high-profile college coaches and former players to invest a total of $80 million in the shell of a company.

5) Speaking of Athens, the “Red and Dead” incarnation of UGA’s student newspaper we talked about yesterday has tripled their number of Facebook fans and launched their own student-run news website in the last 24 hours.

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