from the San Jose Mercury News

San Jose pipe bombing linked to rival biker gangs

Mongols-Hells Angels feud blamed; no injuries reported

By Denis C. Theriault, Sean Webby and Lisa Fernandez
Mercury News

A cluster of pipe-bomb blasts shook a small San Jose neighborhood from its sleep early Thursday, turning a tiny cul-de-sac a few miles from downtown into what police fear is the latest battleground between two bitterly feuding biker gangs: the Mongols Motorcycle Club and the Hells Angels.


San Jose police identified the target in the 3:38 a.m. blasts as Robert Rios, an upper-echelon member of the Mongols’ San Jose chapter, and confirmed that suspicion is falling heavily on their often bloody rivals, the notorious Hells Angels. Mark “Papa” Guardado, 46, president of the Frisco Hells Angels chapter, was gunned down Sept. 2; the suspect, a Mongol from Modesto, remains at large.

“It’s either the Hells Angels are sending a message, or this is a calculated, but ill-advised move,” said Sgt. Larry Day, the San Jose Police Department’s in-house expert on outlaw motorcycle gangs.

Federal law enforcement officials are assisting San Jose’s investigation into Thursday’s attack, described by shaken neighbors as a series of blasts that roused them from their beds. Officials are probing for any links between the two incidents and how they might fit into the wider, ongoing clash between the Mongols, primarily based in Southern California, and the Hells Angels, long an iconic group in Northern California.


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