ALA MOANA (HawaiiNewsNow) - A California biker on the lam runs right into the hands of Hawaii's federal agents. Current Hells Angels member and former San Diego Hells Angels club president, Stephen Sanders, remains locked up in Hawaii – awaiting a court date and extradition.
"Bad luck for the fugitive that he happened to come to the island where we have one of the nation's foremost experts on outlaw motorcycle gangs working as an FBI agent," says FBI spokesman, Tom Simon.
Sanders set the time and place to surrender to authorities on Thursday - brokering the deal through intermediaries. No guns. No violence. The month-long manhunt for the biker ended without incident at Ala Moana beach park. Sanders may have thought Hawaii was the perfect paradise hide-out, but unfortunately for him, our islands aren't remote enough.
Simon says, "We had a very great agent on this case who was very familiar with outlaw motorcycle gang culture, and he was able to develop the sources in the community that he needed to get this case solved."
Little did Sanders know when he fled to Oahu from San Diego that the FBI's Honolulu office had a hog-riding agent with close ties to both legal and illegal motorcycle gangs and groups. Good leads smoked him out, and again, he went peacefully. Extra agents stood by, just in case.
"So, we didn't have some scary stand-off with guns drawn," explains Simon. "We wanted to see if we could tell this person, 'Listen, you're on an island right now. There's really no getting away from this island. We know you're here. The best thing you can do for yourself is to surrender yourself to the FBI. And then, have your day in court in California'."
San Diego authorities raided the Hells Angels clubhouse in El Cajon on August 3rd - as part of a year-long investigation into violent crimes. Ray Crume lives near the Hells Angels clubhouse and said, "At first, I thought it sounded like something had fallen, and my wife says it sounded like an explosion or a loud gunshot. My daughter opened the door and stepped out, and they told her to get back inside, close the doors, get away from the windows."
Sanders was wanted on charges related to the 2007 robbery, torture, assault, and kidnapping of a fellow Hells Angels member - who wanted out of the gang. Sanders fled to Oahu where he reportedly has friends and connections. "There was some indication on-line that he fancied himself to be a big wave surfer, and I imagine if anyone wanted to hide out, Hawaii's a beautiful place to do it," says Simon.
He's also wanted on an unrelated 2010 attack on a motorcyclist. Coincidentally, San Diego authorities apprehended more than two dozen Hells Angels members and associates in a series of raids Thursday – the same day Sanders turned himself in.