Officers seize shotgun from motorcycle gang members

April 4, 2013
Kirk Koester

Kirk Koester

Officers from three different agencies searched the San Luis Obispo County homes of five members of an outlaw motorcycle gang Wednesday, who were arrested last month for carrying concealed handguns on their bikes. [Tribune]

The arrests occurred during a traffic stop on March 15 at the intersection of Highways 101 and 154 in Santa Barbara County. Officers pulled over two of the five members of the Vagos Motorcycle Club for running a red light. While conducting the traffic stop, officers discovered semi-automatic handguns concealed in the saddlebags of all five of the motorcycles.

On Wednesday, a search of the motorcyclists’ homes netted a shotgun and several pieces of suspected gang-related items, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Gang Enforcement Unit conducted the searches of homes in Paso Robles, Cayucos and Heritage Ranch, along with San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s deputies and Paso Robles police.

The March 15 arrests included San Luis Obispo County Vagos Motorcycle Club Chapter President Kirk Koester, 46, and his wife, Shannon Koester, 41, both from Cayucos. Members of the Santa Barbara County gang unit also arrested Byron Posey, 38, Daniel Chapman, 46, and John Gallagher, 41, each from the Paso Robles area.

The FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the California Attorney General’s Office have each named the Vagos Motorcycle Club an outlaw motorcycle gang for conducting criminal activity, which has included money laundering, insurance fraud, witness intimidation, murder and extortion.


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I suspect the reason for the search warrant and raid is because the Santa Barbara Sheriff really doesn’t have anything of substance to go into an arraignment with. Undoubtedly, the Sheriff’s department was hoping to come up with something it could hang its hat on. Since the Sheriff’s department did not report it found an illegal shotgun it was probably perfectly legal.

Also, how did all five originally get arrested when only two ran a red light? Again, I suspect the SB Sheriff deputies took some liberties in their actions. I suspect these things because it seems to happen over and over again. Eventually, the Sheriff’s credibility is lost.

It will be interesting to follow this case and see the outcome.