As a result of routine enforcement and investigation activities, members of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Gang Enforcement Unit arrested five people who are allegedly associated with a local chapter of an outlaw motorcycle gang, based out of San Luis Obispo County. All five individuals were arrested for firearms related charges, in conjunction with criminal street gang enhancements.
The arrests followed a traffic stop near the intersection of Highway 154 at Highway 101 around 8 p.m. Friday night. The five motorcycle riders were observed traveling together. Members of the Sheriff’s Gang Enforcement Unit conducted a traffic enforcement stop upon observing two of the motorcycle riders fail to stop at a red light. During the traffic stop, the three additional motorcycle riders stopped in the middle of the Highway, apparently to wait for the members of their group who were subject to the traffic enforcement stop by law enforcement. The riders were all wearing insignia related to the Vagos Motorcycle Club, a known Outlaw Motorcycle Gang.
During the course of the traffic enforcement stop, Detectives from the Gang Enforcement Unit found concealed semi-automatic handguns within the motorcycle saddlebags of the individuals who were contacted. As result of their investigation, Detectives from the Sheriff’s Gang Enforcement Unit arrested all five suspects on firearms related charges, along with gang enhancements.
The suspects arrested were: 46-year-old Kirk Koester, the club’s San Luis Obispo Chapter President and his wife 41-year-old Shannon Koester both from Cayucos, 38-year-old Byron Posey of Paso Robles, 46-year-old Daniel Chapman of Paso Robles and 41-year-old John Gallagher of San Luis Obispo. All were booked into the county jail for the following violations: possession of a concealed firearm, active participant of a criminal street gang in possession of a concealed firearm, and gang enhancement allegations.
The case has been turned over to the District Attorney’s office. An arraignment date has not been set. There are more than 600 Vagos Motorcycle Club members in the country. The club originated in San Bernadino County in the 1960’s.