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Sheriff testifies regarding involvement in Hells Angels fight case

Lake County’s sheriff was called to the witness stand Wednesday morning on the first day of a preliminary hearing for three members of the Sonoma County chapter of the Hells Angels, who are alleged to have been involved in a fight at a local casino last June. Nicolas Carrillo, 33; Timothy Bianchi, 34; and 36-year-old Josh Johnson were in Judge Andrew Blum’s court for the hearing on charges stemming from the incident on June 4, 2011, in which they were alleged to have fought with Michael Burns, a validated Vagos motorcycle gang member, and Kristopher Perkin. Sheriff Frank Rivero was questioned about how he obtained surveillance video of the fight from Konocti Vista Casino near Lakeport after officials at the casino had reportedly rebuffed attempts by his deputies to collect the evidence. Bianchi, who the prosecution alleges threw the first blow in the Saturday afternoon fight, is facing felony counts of participation in a criminal street gang, assault with a deadly weapon other than a firearm, and misdemeanor counts of disturbing the peace and battery, according to court records. Johnson and Carrillo also are facing the street gang participation and disturbing the peace charges, along with two misdemeanor battery counts each. A fourth man alleged to have been involved, David Dabbs, has remained at large since last summer. Carrillo’s attorney, Michael Clough, would press Rivero on whether his pursuit of the case against the three men had a connection to his response nearly a month earlier to reports that 150 Hells Angels were coming to the county. In that case, Rivero ordered deputies to create a roadblock at the county’s southern entrance near Middletown. Clough also questioned Rivero about the District Attorney’s Office’s investigation into a February 2008 shooting in which Rivero shot at a man and later gave investigators conflicting stories about what happened. On the stand Rivero denied lying in the shooting investigation.

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