FBI arrests four members of Sacramento-area Vagos motorcycle club

SACRAMENTO - The FBI calls the Vagos the biggest outlaw motorcycle gang in the area with ties to an international, highly-organized criminal network.

On Wednesday, federal agents capped off more than a year's worth of undercover work that resulted in four arrests.

As of late Wednesday night, all four of the men arrested were still going through the booking process at the Sacramento County Jail and unable to respond to News10 requests for interviews, but one high-ranking Vagos member did say his organization is not a gang.

In a criminal complaint, the FBI describes the Sacramento Vagos as an outlaw motorcycle gang trafficking in methamphetamine, illegal weapons, and stolen motorcycles, but Vagos member Chris Mayhew insisted his organization is a peaceful one.

"We're not a gang. We're a motorcycle club. We're a whole bunch of brothers. You know, we're a family," Mayhew said.

Mayhew described himself as an officer of the group. He's one of several members named in the criminal complaint against accused drug supplier James Cline and accused gang members Leonard Walter and Michael Wright.

The three men were arrested for drug charges along with accused drug supplier Richard Cardenas. Mayhew talked outside the North Sacramento apartment complex described by the FBI as a central Vagos location often called, 'the compound."

"The apartments, I mean it's an apartment complex. It's not a compound. You know what I mean? It's a whole bunch of families here with kids and everything, and we all know each other. We all help out with each other," Mayhew said.

Court documents show that beginning in spring 2013, the FBI infiltrated the group using an undercover employee who was able to coordinate a series of controlled drug purchases that led to the arrests. Mayhew says he wasn't aware of the arrests and that they shouldn't reflect the organization as a whole.

"You can't judge a tree because of one bad apple. You know what I mean? Not everyone hated the Atlanta Falcons when Michael Vick was over there fighting all them dogs. Everyone still liked the Atlanta Falcons. Just 'cause of that one bad apple though, you can't judge everyone else," Mayhew said.

The four suspects are expected to appear in court by the end of the week for their arraignment.


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